T cell Longevity

IL-7’s protective role for longevity of tumor-exposed T cells

  • Only IL-7–treated tumor-exposed T cells maintained a telomere length comparable with unexposed controls



  • Normal T-cells (responders, R) incubated with tumor exposed T-cells showed ~40% apoptosis in responders
  • Responders incubated with tumor-exposed T-cells treated with IL-7 prior to incubation showed reduction in apoptosis ~20%
  • IL-7 reduces phosphorylation of Mcl-1 (GSK3β phosphorylation target) and increases expression of Mcl-1 (anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member)
  • IL-7 inhibits pro-apoptotic molecule Bim (which binds to Mcl-1)

Zhang et al., Clinical Cancer Research 2011, 17(15): 4975–4986; Chetoui et al., Immunology 2010, 130(3): 418–426.