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Phenotypically and functionally distinct progenitors and developmental pathways have been proposed to exist for fetally derived B-1 and conventional B-2 cells. Although IL-7 appears to be the primary cytokine regulator of fetal and adult B lymphopoiesis in mice, considerable fetal B lymphopoiesis and postnatal B cells are sustained in the absence of IL-7; in humans, B-cell generation is suggested to be largely IL-7-independent, as severe combined immune-deficient patients with IL-7 deficiency appear to have normal B-cell numbers. However, the role of other cytokines in IL-7-independent B lymphopoiesis remains to be established. Although thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) has been proposed to be the main factor driving IL-7-independent B lymphopoiesis and to distinguish fetal from adult B-cell progenitor development in mice, recent studies failed to support a primary role of TSLP in IL-7-independent fetal B-cell development. However, the role of TSLP in IL-7-independent adult B lymphopoiesis and in particular in regulation of B-1 cells remains to be established. Here we demonstrate that, rather than TSLP, IL-7 and FLT3 ligand are combined responsible for all B-cell generation in mice, including recently identified B-1-specified cell progenitors. Thus, the same IL-7- and FLT3 ligand-mediated signal-ing regulates alternative pathways of fetal and adult B-1 and B-2 lymphopoiesis.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2297 - 2304


Animals, B-Lymphocytes, Cell Lineage, Cytokines, Fetus, Interleukin-7, Lymphopoiesis, Membrane Proteins, Mice