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Eur J Immunol. 1991 Feb;21(2):453-60.

Development of lymphocytes in interleukin 7-transgenic mice.

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Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


We have developed and established mouse transgenic lines in which the mouse interleukin 7 gene was targeted for expression in the lymphoid cell compartment. Northern blot analysis indicate that the transgene is expressed in bone marrow (BM), spleen and thymus, but not in kidney, liver, brain or heart. Both the frequency and absolute numbers of B cell precursors and mature B lymphocytes are increased in the BM and spleen of the transgenic mice. Although there is no expansion of the pro-T lymphocyte population in the BM, the number of all major subsets of thymocytes and peripheral T lymphocytes is increased in the majority of the transgenic mice analyzed. The B and T cell lymphocytes in the transgenic mice are functionally competent. In contrast, the number of granulocytes and macrophages in the BM of transgenic mice is similar to that in control non-transgenic littermates. Our results indicate that interleukin 7 plays an important role in vivo in the development of B and T lymphocytes.

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