Mucosal T cells as a target for treatment of IBD

Mamoru Watanabe, Motomi Yamazaki, Takanori Kanai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is an indispensable cytokine for the development of lymphocyte lineage cells. However, the potential role of IL-7 in peripheral nonlymphoid tissues was unclear before our study. We have demonstrated that intestinal epithelial cells produce IL-7 and that IL-7 serves as a regulatory factor for proliferation of mucosal lymphocytes expressing IL-7 receptor (IL-7R). Recent studies demonstrated that intestinal epithelial cell-derived IL-7 plays a crucial role in the organization of mucosal lymphoid tissues and regulating the normal immune response in intestinal mucosa. In a previous study, we demonstrated that IL-7 transgenic mice developed chronic colitis. Here, we have demonstrated the essential role of mucosal IL-7/IL-7R-dependent signals in the development of chronic intestinal inflammation. Our results indicate that mucosal IL-7/IL-7R-dependent signals are involved in the development of chronic intestinal inflammation in both the mouse model and human disease of the intestinal mucosa. Therefore, current studies indicate that therapeutic approaches by specific targeting of IL-7R-expressing mucosal T cells may be feasible in the treatment of human ulcerative colitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-50
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of gastroenterology
Issue numberSUPPL. 15
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Apr 28
Externally publishedYes


  • IBD
  • IL-7
  • IL-7 receptor
  • Mucosal immunity
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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