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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cytokine functions in the formative stages of a lymphocyte's life.

Five core cytokines that control lymphocyte differentiation and maintenance have been identified and studied in depth. IL-7 sits at the apex of this cytokine hierarchy in terms of functional significance during lymphocyte development. The IL-7-dominant phase of lymphopoiesis is preceded by the actions of c-Kit ligand (also called stem cell factor; SCF) and fetal liver kinase 2 ligand (Flk-2L); the function of both of these cytokines is essential for the maintenance and development of the progenitor compartment of multiple lineages. IL-7 activity is complemented by two cytokines whose receptors share components of the IL-7 receptor: thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and IL-15. The influences of these core cytokines on precursor lymphocyte subsets overlap during development and are often synergistic. Recent studies are beginning to uncover the molecular mechanisms of these interrelated core cytokine functions.[1]


  1. Cytokine functions in the formative stages of a lymphocyte's life. Kang, J., Der, S.D. Curr. Opin. Immunol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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