Common cytokine receptor gamma chain (gamma c)-dependent cytokines: understanding in vivo functions by gene targeting


  • J.P. Di Santo
  • R. Kuehn
  • W. Mueller


  • Immunological Reviews


  • Immunol Rev 148 (1): 19-34


  • The common cytokine receptor gamma chain (gamma c) plays a critical role in lymphoid development through its participation in the receptors for IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, and IL-15. Absence of gamma c results in abnormal lymphopoiesis and immunodeficiency, as evidence by X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCIDX1) in man, and in the corresponding canine and murine models of SCIDX1. Comparison of the phenotypes of mutant mice made deficient for gamma c-dependent cytokines by gene targeting, allows us to define a hierarchy of gamma c-dependent cytokine function in lymphoid development. The participation of distinct cytokine/receptor interactions in the generation, maintenance and regulation of the immune system suggests that developmental steps may be controlled by individual cytokines. The mechanisms by which different cytokine signaling pathways achieve this process remain to be elucidated.