IL-7 is a cytokine that is required for T-cell development and homeostasis as well as for lymph node organogenesis. Despite the importance of IL-7 in the immune system and its potential therapeutic relevance, questions remain regarding the sites of IL-7 synthesis, specific cell types involved and molecular mechanisms regulating IL-7 expression. To address these issues, we generated two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mouse lines in which IL-7 regulatory elements drive expression of either Cre recombinase or a human CD25 (hCD25) cell surface reporter molecule. Expression of the IL-7.hCD25 BAC transgene, detected by reactivity with anti-hCD25 antibody, mimicked endogenous IL-7 expression. Fetal and adult tissues from crosses between IL-7.Cre transgenic mice and Rosa26R or R26-EYFP reporters demonstrated X-gal or YFP staining in tissues known to express endogenous IL-7 at some stage during development. These transgenic lines provide novel genetic tools to identify IL-7 producing cells in various tissues and to manipulate gene expression selectively in IL-7 expressing cells. genesis 47:281–287, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.