Cytokines and T-cell homeostasis

Curr Opin Immunol. 2007 Jun;19(3):320-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2007.04.015. Epub 2007 Apr 12.


Homeostasis of T cells can be defined as the ability of the immune system to maintain normal T-cell counts and to restore T-cell numbers following T-cell depletion or expansion. These processes are governed by extrinsic signals, most notably cytokines. Two members of the common gamma chain family of cytokines, interleukin (IL)-7 and IL-15, are central to homeostatic proliferation and survival of mature CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Recent evidence suggests that other cytokines, including IL-2, IL-10, IL-12, interferons and TGF-beta, as well as the transcription factors T-bet and eomesodermin all play important but different roles at distinct stages of T-cell homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Homeostasis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Cytokines