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Interleukin-7: An Interleukin for Rejuvenating the Immune System

Authors

  • RICHARD ASPINALL,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW10 9NH, United Kingdom
      Address for correspondence: Richard Aspinall, Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW10 9NH, UK. r.aspinall@ic.ac.uk
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  • SIAN HENSON,

    1. Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW10 9NH, United Kingdom
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  • JEFFREY PIDO-LOPEZ,

    1. Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW10 9NH, United Kingdom
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  • PA TAMBA NGOM

    1. Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW10 9NH, United Kingdom
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Address for correspondence: Richard Aspinall, Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London SW10 9NH, UK. r.aspinall@ic.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract: Infection of an individual (aged 20-30 years) by a virus will cause a response from the T (thymus derived) lymphocytes of which there are approximately 3 × 1011. If the individual has not met the virus before, the response will come from the naive T cell subset (50 ± 10% of the total T cell pool at this age) containing recent thymic emigrants produced from the thymus at approximately 108 per day. Their antigen-specific receptor has a defined specificity governed by the conformation of its two chains (α and β), and the repertoire of specificities is somewhere in the region of 2 × 107 to 108. A successful response leads to clonal expansion and the generation of memory T cells to the infecting agent.

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