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Immunol Lett. 2008 Dec 22;121(2):134-9. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2008.10.002. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

Increased bone resorption and osteopenia are a part of the lymphoproliferative phenotype of mice with systemic over-expression of interleukin-7 gene driven by MHC class II promoter.

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  • 1Department of Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Sisters of Mercy University Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.


Mice with interleukin (IL)-7 transgene under the control of E(alpha) promoter over-express IL-7 in MHC class II-positive cells and develop specific immune phenotype, marked by an increase in CD45R(+) cells in both the bone marrow and peripheral blood. We show that IL-7 transgenic mice have a bone phenotype characterized by an age-related loss of trabecular bone in both axial and long bones. Osteopenia was the result of increased number of active osteoclasts on the surface of trabecular bone. Furthermore, IL-7 transgenic mice showed increased osteoclastic but unchanged osteoblastic potential of the bone marrow in vitro. IL-7 over-expression also created osteoclastogenic microenvironment within the bone marrow which promoted the commitment of precursors towards the osteoclast lineage. These findings are important for immunological disturbances where IL-7 is involved and where alterations in the immune system are accompanied by changes in bone metabolism, such as multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

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