Localization of intestinal intraepithelial T lymphocytes involves regulation of alphaEbeta7 expression by transforming growth factor-beta

Int Immunol. 2002 Apr;14(4):339-45. doi: 10.1093/intimm/14.4.339.


Induction of alphaEbeta7 expression on T cells by transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta is thought to be important for intestinal intraepithelial T lymphocyte (IEL) entry into the epithelial compartment. However, there has been no in vivo evidence that up-regulation of alphaEbeta7 expression on T cells by TGF-beta is critical for the selective localization of intestinal IEL in the epithelial area. We have recently established transgenic mice expressing Smad7 under the control of a distal lck promoter where TGF-beta/Smad signaling is specifically blocked in mature T cells. Here we showed that TGF-beta-mediated up-regulation of alphaEbeta7 was impaired on T cells isolated from the Smad7 transgenic mice associated with reduced numbers of intestinal IEL when compared with that in wild-type littermates. These results indicated that failure to induce alphaEbeta7 on T cells by TGF-beta resulted in reduced numbers of intestinal IEL, suggesting the importance of alphaEbeta7 expression by TGF-beta in selective localization of intestinal IEL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Integrins / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Ovalbumin / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Smad7 Protein
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Integrins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Smad7 Protein
  • Smad7 protein, mouse
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • integrin alphaEbeta7
  • Ovalbumin