Murine intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) that express the gamma/delta form of the T cell receptor for antigen (TCRγδ) also express c-kit the receptor for stem cell factor (SCF). We show here that SCF upregulates the expression of γδ TCR on IEL. More importantly SCF induces upregulation in the expression of the common γ-chain (γc) which is a shared subunit of the receptor complexes for IL-2 -4 -7 -9 and -15. SCF was shown to act synergistically with IL-2 in inducing IEL proliferation IFNγ production non-MHC-restricted cytotoxic activity and upregulation of the expression of the γc. SCF also acted synergistically with IL-7 and IL-15 in inducing IEL proliferation. IEL exposed to SCF were shown to have enhanced phosphorylation of JAK-3 and when SCF was combined with IL-2 there was an enhancement in the phosphorylation of JAK-3. These results suggest that SCF may play a more important role in regulating mucosal immune responses than previously appreciated. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Stem cell factor
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