Orchestrating B cell lymphopoiesis through interplay of IL-7 receptor and pre-B cell receptor signalling

Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Feb;14(2):69-80. doi: 10.1038/nri3570. Epub 2013 Dec 31.


The development of B cells is dependent on the sequential DNA rearrangement of immunoglobulin loci that encode subunits of the B cell receptor. The pathway navigates a crucial checkpoint that ensures expression of a signalling-competent immunoglobulin heavy chain before commitment to rearrangement and expression of an immunoglobulin light chain. The checkpoint segregates proliferation of pre-B cells from immunoglobulin light chain recombination and their differentiation into B cells. Recent advances have revealed the molecular circuitry that controls two rival signalling systems, namely the interleukin-7 (IL-7) receptor and the pre-B cell receptor, to ensure that proliferation and immunoglobulin recombination are mutually exclusive, thereby maintaining genomic integrity during B cell development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Bone Marrow / physiology
  • Cyclin D2 / physiology
  • Cyclin D3 / physiology
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Lymphopoiesis*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Pre-B Cell Receptors / physiology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7 / physiology*
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Cyclin D2
  • Cyclin D3
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Pre-B Cell Receptors
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases