Inflammatory bowel disease is thought to result from inappropriate activation of mucosal immune responses. Intestinal epithelial cells produce interleukin (IL)-7 that serves as a regulatory factor for IL-7 receptor (IL-7R)+ mucosal lymphocytes. The pivotal role of mucosal IL-7 / IL-7R dependent signals in the activation of mucosal immune responses that lead to the development of chronic intestinal inflammation are demonstrated. Therapeutic approaches targeting IL-7 / IL-7R signal pathway may be feasible in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
Keywords: il-7, il-7 receptor, t cells, mucosal immunity, ibd
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