Increased bone resorption and osteopenia are a part of the lymphoproliferative phenotype of mice with systemic over-expression of interleukin-7 gene driven by MHC class II promoter

Immunol Lett. 2008 Dec 22;121(2):134-9. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2008.10.002. Epub 2008 Nov 4.


Mice with interleukin (IL)-7 transgene under the control of E(alpha) promoter over-express IL-7 in MHC class II-positive cells and develop specific immune phenotype, marked by an increase in CD45R(+) cells in both the bone marrow and peripheral blood. We show that IL-7 transgenic mice have a bone phenotype characterized by an age-related loss of trabecular bone in both axial and long bones. Osteopenia was the result of increased number of active osteoclasts on the surface of trabecular bone. Furthermore, IL-7 transgenic mice showed increased osteoclastic but unchanged osteoblastic potential of the bone marrow in vitro. IL-7 over-expression also created osteoclastogenic microenvironment within the bone marrow which promoted the commitment of precursors towards the osteoclast lineage. These findings are important for immunological disturbances where IL-7 is involved and where alterations in the immune system are accompanied by changes in bone metabolism, such as multiple myeloma, rheumatoid arthritis and postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / blood
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / genetics
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Bone Resorption / blood
  • Bone Resorption / genetics
  • Bone Resorption / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Genes, MHC Class II / genetics
  • Genes, MHC Class II / immunology
  • Interleukin-7 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-7 / genetics
  • Interleukin-7 / immunology
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / blood
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / genetics
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics


  • Interleukin-7
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens