Expression and function of the interleukin 7 receptor in murine lymphocytes

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Oct 1;90(19):9125-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.90.19.9125.


A monoclonal antibody, A7R34, that recognizes the high-affinity interleukin 7 receptor (IL-7Ra) and blocks the binding between IL-7 and IL-7Ra has been produced. Cell surface staining with A7R34 demonstrated that IL-7Ra is expressed in both B- and T-cell lineages. In the bone marrow, immature B-lineage cells that do not express surface IgM were IL-7Ra+. In the thymus, IL-7Ra was detected in CD4-8- T cells and also in CD4 or CD8 single-positive cells but not in CD4+8+ double-positive cells. In the peripheral lymphoid tissues, both CD4 and CD8 single-positive cells were the major cell types that express IL-7Ra. Addition of A7R34 to a long-term B-precursor-cell culture inhibited proliferation of the B-lineage cells, indicating that IL-7 is an absolute requirement for in vitro B-cell genesis. Consistent with this in vitro result, continuous injection of A7R34 into an adult mouse resulted in a decrease of B-precursor cells and also of thymocytes, whereas a considerable fraction of mature B and T cells in the peripheral tissues persisted over 2 weeks of the experiment. When A7R34 injection is started from day 14 of gestation, it is possible to produce mice that lack B cells. These results indicate that IL-7 is an essential molecule for generation of both B and T cells in murine bone marrow and thymus, respectively. Moreover, IL-7Ra would be the sole receptor system regulating these processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • DNA Primers
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-7 / metabolism*
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Interleukin / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Interleukin / genetics
  • Receptors, Interleukin / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Transfection


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • DNA Primers
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukin-7
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins