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Int J Mol Sci. 2015 May 6;16(5):10267-80. doi: 10.3390/ijms160510267.

Mechanism of Action of IL-7 and Its Potential Applications and Limitations in Cancer Immunotherapy.

Author information

1
Institute of Cancer, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China. nwgjb@163.com.
2
Institute of Cancer, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China. chaoren72@126.com.
3
Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. wany@email.unc.edu.
4
Institute of Cancer, Xinqiao Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400037, China. b.davis.zhu@gmail.com.
5
Biomedical Analysis Center, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China. b.davis.zhu@gmail.com.

Abstract

Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is a non-hematopoietic cell-derived cytokine with a central role in the adaptive immune system. It promotes lymphocyte development in the thymus and maintains survival of naive and memory T cell homeostasis in the periphery. Moreover, it is important for the organogenesis of lymph nodes (LN) and for the maintenance of activated T cells recruited into the secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs). The immune capacity of cancer patients is suppressed that is characterized by lower T cell counts, less effector immune cells infiltration, higher levels of exhausted effector cells and higher levels of immunosuppressive cytokines, such as transforming growth factor β (TGF-β). Recombinant human IL-7 (rhIL-7) is an ideal solution for the immune reconstitution of lymphopenia patients by promoting peripheral T cell expansion. Furthermore, it can antagonize the immunosuppressive network. In animal models, IL-7 has been proven to prolong the survival of tumor-bearing hosts. In this review, we will focus on the mechanism of action and applications of IL-7 in cancer immunotherapy and the potential restrictions for its usage.

PMID:
25955647
PMCID:
PMC4463645
DOI:
10.3390/ijms160510267
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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