Interleukin 7 (IL-7) is a hematopoietic growth factor cytokine, produced by stromal cells in the thymus and bone marrow, also and by keratinocytes, dendritic cells, hepatocytes, neurons, and epithelial cells. However, IL-7 is not produced by common lymphocytes.
Interleukin 7 is part of the IL-7/IL-9 family. It arouses the proliferation of lymphoid precursors and is important for proliferation at particular stages of B-cell growth. The cytokine has influence for V(D)J recombination of the T-cell Receptor Beta (TCRβ) in early T-cell Development. This way Interleukin 7 is important for B- and T- cells development.
IL-7 arouses the differentiation of pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells into lymphoid precursor cells, in difference to IL-3, which arouses differentiation in myeloid precursor cells.
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