IL-7 is an important cytokine for lymphocyte differentiation. Similar to what occurs in vivo, human CD19+cells developing in human/murine xenogeneic cultures show differential expression of the IL-7 receptor α (IL-7Rα) chain (CD127). We now describe the relationship between CD127 expression/signaling and Ig gene rearrangement. In the present study, < 10% of CD19+CD127+and CD19+CD127-populations had complete VDJH rearrangements. IGH locus conformation measurements by 3D FISH revealed that CD127+and CD127-cells were less contracted than pediatric BM pro-B cells that actively rearrange the IGH locus. Complete IGH rearrangements in CD127+and CD127-cells had smaller CDR3 lengths and fewer N-nucleotide insertions than pediatric BM B-lineage cells. Despite the paucity of VDJH rearrangements, microarray analysis indicated that CD127+cells resembled large pre-B cells, which is consistent with their low level of Ig lightchain rearrangements. Unexpectedly, CD127-cells showed extensive Ig light-chain rearrangements in the absence of IGH rearrangements and resembled small pre-B cells. Neutralization of IL-7 in xenogeneic cultures led to an increase in Ig light-chain rearrangements in CD127+cells, but no change in complete IGH rearrangements. We conclude that IL-7-mediated suppression of premature Ig light-chain rearrangement is the most definitive function yet described for IL-7 in human B-cell development.,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nodland, S. E., Berkowska, M., Bajer, A. A., Shah, N., de Ridder, D., van Dongen, J., … van Zelm, M. (2011). IL-7R expression and IL-7 signaling confer a distinct phenotype on developing human B-lineage cells. Blood, 118(8), 2116–2127. doi:10.1182/blood-2010-08-302513