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Dev Comp Immunol. 2010 Aug;34(8):828-36. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Mar 26.

A novel functional rabbit IL-7 isoform.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, 2160 South First Avenue, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


IL-7 is required for B cell development in mouse and is a key regulator of T cell development and peripheral T cell homeostasis in mouse and human. Recently, we found that IL-7 is expressed in rabbit bone marrow and in vitro, is required for differentiation of lymphoid progenitors to B and T lineage cells. Herein, we report the identification of a novel rabbit IL-7 isoform, IL-7II. Recombinant IL-7II (rIL-7II) binds lymphocytes via the IL-7R and induces phosphorylation of STAT5. Further, rIL-7II supports proliferation and differentiation of BM progenitor cells into B and T lineage cells. IL7-II is generated by alternative splicing, with an 11 amino acid insertion encoded by a separate exon, exon 2b. Exon 2b is conserved in other lagomorphs, in Perissodactyla, Artiodactyla, and Carnivora, but is absent in mouse and human.

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