CD127, IL-7 receptor alpha chain

Author: V. Dimov, M.D., Fellow, Creighton University Division of Allergy & Immunology
Reviewer: S. Randhawa, M.D., Fellow, LSU (Shreveport) Department of Allergy & Immunology

CD127 is the IL-7 receptor alpha chain.

Interleukin 7 (IL-7)

Interleukin 7 (IL-7) is a hematopoietic growth factor secreted by the stromal cells of the bone marrow and thymus. IL-7 stimulates the differentiation of multipotent (pluripotent) hematopoietic stem cells into lymphoid progenitor cells (as opposed to myeloid progenitor cells where differentiation is stimulated by IL-3). IL-7 stimulates proliferation of all cells in the lymphoid lineage (B and T lymphocytes and NK cells). A defect in IL-7RA leads to SCID (T-/B+/NK+).

Interleukin-7 receptor (IL7R)

Interleukin 7 receptor (IL7R) is also known as CD127 (Cluster of Differentiation 127) is a type I cytokine receptor. Type I cytokine receptors are transmembrane receptors expressed on the surface of cells that recognize and respond to cytokines with four α-helical strands.

Type I cytokine receptors are mediated through JAK/STAT and bind: IL-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, GM-CSF.

Key steps of the JAK-STAT pathway. Image source: Wikpedia, public domain.

IL7R plays a critical role in the V(D)J recombination during lymphocyte development. A defect in IL-7RA leads to SCID (T-/B+/NK+).

Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP)

Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) signals through a heterodimeric receptor complex composed of the TSLP receptor and the IL-7R alpha chain. Some researchers have classified TSLP as a "master regulator" of the Th2 response due to overexpression of the cytokine in pulmonary tissue and skin cells result in Th2-induced asthma and dermatitis.

TSLP is produced mainly by non-hematopoietic cells as fibroblasts, epithelial cells and different types of stromal cells.

Anti-TSLP is a potential new therapeutic target in asthma.


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List of human clusters of differentiation (CD), Wikipedia.
TSLP calms inflammation. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol. 206, No. 3, 493, 2009.
TSLP, Wikipedia.
Interleukin-7 receptor, Wikipedia.
Interleukin 7, Wikipedia.
Cluster of differentiation (CD) of leukocytes
Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is associated with allergic rhinitis in children with asthma

Published: 05/18/2009
Updated: 01/18/2011

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