After their development in the thymus, mature T cells are maintained in the periphery by two sets of survival signals, namely TCR signals from contact with self-peptide/MHC ligands and the cytokine receptor signals from binding IL-7 and IL-15. These signals cooperate to maximize the utility of finite resources to support a diverse pool of mature T cells. It is becoming increasingly clear that multiple mechanisms exist to regulate expression of IL-7R at the transcriptional and post-translational levels. The interplay between TCR signals and IL-7R signals are also important in regulation of IL-7R expression. This review will focus on regulation of T cell homeostasis by IL-7R signaling, with an emphasis on the cross talk between signals from TCR and IL-7R.
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