Thymic stromal lymphopoietin

Last updated
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: PDBe RCSB
Aliases TSLP , thymic stromal lymphopoietin
External IDs OMIM: 607003 MGI: 1855696 HomoloGene: 81957 GeneCards: TSLP
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC) Chr 5: 111.07 – 111.08 Mb Chr 18: 32.95 – 32.95 Mb
PubMed search [3] [4]
View/Edit Human View/Edit Mouse

Thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a protein belonging to the cytokine family. It is known to play an important role in the maturation of T cell populations through activation of antigen-presenting cells.


TSLP is produced mainly by non-hematopoietic cells such as fibroblasts, epithelial cells and different types of stromal or stromal-like cells.[ citation needed ]

Gene ontology

TSLP production has been observed in various species, including humans and mice. In humans TSLP is encoded by the TSLP gene. [5] [6] Alternative splicing of this gene results in two transcript variants. [6]


It mainly impacts myeloid cells and induces the release of T cell-attracting chemokines from monocytes [ citation needed ] and enhances the maturation of myeloid (CD11c+) dendritic cells. [7] TSLP has also been shown to activate the maturation of a specific subset of dendritic cells located within the epidermis, called Langerhans cells. [8] Within the thymus TSLP activation of both myeloid and plasmacytoid (CD123+) dendritic cells results in the production of regulatory T cells. [9] [10]


Crystal structure of human TSLP in complex with TSLP-R and IL-7Ra (pdb 5j11) TSLP wiki 5j11.png
Crystal structure of human TSLP in complex with TSLP-R and IL-7Ra (pdb 5j11)

TSLP signals through a heterodimeric receptor complex composed of the thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor CRLF2 (also known as TSLP receptor, TSLP-R) and the IL-7R alpha chain. [12] After binding STAT5 phosphorylation is induced, resulting in the expression of downstream transcription factors. [13]


TSLP expression is linked to many disease states including asthma, [14] inflammatory arthritis, [15] atopic dermatitis, [8] eczema, eosinophilic esophagitis and other allergic states. [16] [17] The factors inducing the activation of TSLP release are not clearly defined.


Expression of TSLP is enhanced under asthma-like conditions (aka Airway HyperResponsiveness or AHR model in the mouse), conditioning APCs in order to orient the differentiation of T cells coming into the lungs towards a TH2 profile (T helper 2 pathway).[ citation needed ] The TH2 cells then release factors promoting an inflammatory reaction following the repeated contact with a specific antigen in the airways.[ citation needed ]

Inflammatory arthritis

Atopic dermatitis

TSLP-activated Langerhans cells of the epidermis induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines like TNF-alpha by T cells potentially causing atopic dermatitis. [8] It is thought that by understanding the mechanism of TSLP production and those potential substances that block the production, one may be able to prevent or treat conditions of asthma and/or eczema. [18]


The TSLP signaling axis is an attractive therapeutic target. Amgen's Tezepelumab, a monoclonal antibody which blocks TSLP, is currently approved for the treatment of severe asthma. [19] [20] Fusion proteins consisting of TSLPR and IL-7Rα which can trap TSLP with excellent affinity have also been designed. [21] Additional approaches towards TSLP/TSLPR inhibition include peptides derived from the TSLP:TSLPR interface, [22] natural products [23] and computational fragment-based screening. [24]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dendritic cell</span> Accessory cell of the mammalian immune system

A dendritic cell (DC) is an antigen-presenting cell of the mammalian immune system. A DC's main function is to process antigen material and present it on the cell surface to the T cells of the immune system. They act as messengers between the innate and adaptive immune systems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interleukin 9</span> Protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

Interleukin 9, also known as IL-9, is a pleiotropic cytokine belonging to the group of interleukins. IL-9 is produced by variety of cells like mast cells, NKT cells, Th2, Th17, Treg, ILC2, and Th9 cells in different amounts. Among them, Th9 cells are regarded as the major CD4+ T cells that produce IL-9.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hassall's corpuscles</span>

Hassall's corpuscles (or thymic corpuscles (bodies)) are structures found in the medulla of the human thymus, formed from eosinophilic type VI epithelial reticular cells arranged concentrically. These concentric corpuscles are composed of a central mass, consisting of one or more granular cells, and of a capsule formed of epithelioid cells. They vary in size with diameters from 20 to more than 100μm, and tend to grow larger with age. They can be spherical or ovoid and their epithelial cells contain keratohyalin and bundles of cytoplasmic fibres. Later studies indicate that Hassall's corpuscles differentiate from medullary thymic epithelial cells after they lose autoimmune regulator (AIRE) expression. This makes them an example of Thymic mimetic cells. They are named for Arthur Hill Hassall, who discovered them in 1846.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interleukin 33</span> IL-33 induces helper T cells, mast cells, eosinophils and basophils to produce type 2 cytokines.

Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IL33 gene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interleukin 25</span> Cytokine that belongs to the IL-17 cytokine family

Interleukin-25 (IL-25) – also known as interleukin-17E (IL-17E) – is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IL25 gene on chromosome 14. IL-25 was discovered in 2001 and is made up of 177 amino acids.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">CCL18</span> Mammalian protein found in Homo sapiens

Chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18) is a small cytokine belonging to the CC chemokine family. The functions of CCL18 have been well studied in laboratory settings, however the physiological effects of the molecule in living organisms have been difficult to characterize because there is no similar protein in rodents that can be studied. The receptor for CCL18 has been identified in humans only recently, which will help scientists understand the molecule's role in the body.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">CCL21</span> Mammalian protein found in Homo sapiens

Chemokine ligand 21 (CCL21) is a small cytokine belonging to the CC chemokine family. This chemokine is also known as 6Ckine, exodus-2, and secondary lymphoid-tissue chemokine (SLC). CCL21 elicits its effects by binding to a cell surface chemokine receptor known as CCR7. The main function of CCL21 is to guide CCR7 expressing leukocytes to the secondary lymphoid organs, such as lymph nodes and Peyer´s patches.

Immunosenescence is the gradual deterioration of the immune system, brought on by natural age advancement. A 2020 review concluded that the adaptive immune system is affected more than the innate immune system. Immunosenescence involves both the host's capacity to respond to infections and the development of long-term immune memory. Age-associated immune deficiency is found in both long- and short-lived species as a function of their age relative to life expectancy rather than elapsed time. It has been studied in animal models including mice, marsupials and monkeys. Immunosenescence is a contributory factor to the increased frequency of morbidity and mortality among the elderly. Along with anergy and T-cell exhaustion, immunosenescence belongs among the major immune system dysfunctional states. However, while T-cell anergy is a reversible condition, as of 2020 no techniques for immunosenescence reversal had been developed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">C-C chemokine receptor type 7</span> Protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

C-C chemokine receptor type 7 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CCR7 gene. Two ligands have been identified for this receptor: the chemokines ligand 19 (CCL19/ELC) and ligand 21 (CCL21). The ligands have similar affinity for the receptor, though CCL19 has been shown to induce internalisation of CCR7 and desensitisation of the cell to CCL19/CCL21 signals. CCR7 is a transmembrane protein with 7 transmembrane domains, which is coupled with heterotrimeric G proteins, which transduce the signal downstream through various signalling cascades. The main function of the receptor is to guide immune cells to immune organs by detecting specific chemokines, which these tissues secrete.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">CD83</span>

CD83 is a human protein encoded by the CD83 gene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Decoy receptor 3</span> Protein found in humans

Decoy receptor 3 (Dcr3), also known as tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 6B (TNFRSF6B), TR6 and M68, is a soluble protein of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily which inhibits Fas ligand-induced apoptosis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">NCR3</span>

Natural cytotoxicity triggering receptor 3 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the NCR3 gene. NCR3 has also been designated as CD337 and as NKp30. NCR3 belongs to the family of NCR membrane receptors together with NCR1 (NKp46) and NCR2 (NKp44).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">TREM1</span> Protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (TREM1) an immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily transmembrane protein that, in humans, is encoded by the TREM1 gene. TREM1 is constitutively expressed on the surface of peripheral blood monocytes and neutrophils, and upregulated by toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands; activation of TREM1 amplifies immune responses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">KLRB1</span> Protein-coding gene in humans

Killer cell lectin-like receptor subfamily B, member 1, also known as KLRB1, NKR-P1A or CD161, is a human gene.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">CRLF2</span> Protein-coding gene in humans

Cytokine receptor-like factor 2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the CRLF2 gene. It forms a ternary signaling complex with TSLP and interleukin-7 receptor-α, capable of stimulating cell proliferation through activation of STAT3, STAT5 and JAK2 pathways and is implicated in the development of the hematopoietic system. Rearrangement of this gene with immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IGH), or with P2Y purinoceptor 8 gene (P2RY8) is associated with B-progenitor- and Down syndrome- acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interleukin-7 receptor-α</span> Protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

Interleukin-7 receptor subunit alpha (IL7R-α) also known as CD127 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the IL7R gene.

In cell biology, TH9 cells are a sub-population of CD4+T cells that produce interleukin-9 (IL-9). They play a role in defense against helminth infections, in allergic responses, in autoimmunity, and tumor suppression.

Tolerogenic dendritic cells are heterogenous pool of dendritic cells with immuno-suppressive properties, priming immune system into tolerogenic state against various antigens. These tolerogenic effects are mostly mediated through regulation of T cells such as inducing T cell anergy, T cell apoptosis and induction of Tregs. Tol-DCs also affect local micro-environment toward tolerogenic state by producing anti-inflammatory cytokines.

Dipyaman Ganguly is an Indian physician-scientist immunologist and cell biologist, currently a Principal Scientist and Swarnajayanthi Fellow at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB). He heads the Dendritic Cell Laboratory of IICB, popularly known as Ganguly Lab, where he hosts several researchers involved in research on regulation of innate Immunity and pathogenesis of inflammatory disorders.

Thymus stromal cells are subsets of specialized cells located in different areas of the thymus. They include all non-T-lineage cells, such as thymic epithelial cells (TECs), endothelial cells, mesenchymal cells, dendritic cells, and B lymphocytes, and provide signals essential for thymocyte development and the homeostasis of the thymic stroma.


  1. 1 2 3 GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000145777 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. 1 2 3 GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000024379 - Ensembl, May 2017
  3. "Human PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. "Mouse PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. Quentmeier H, Drexler HG, Fleckenstein D, Zaborski M, Armstrong A, Sims JE, Lyman SD (August 2001). "Cloning of human thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and signaling mechanisms leading to proliferation". Leukemia. 15 (8): 1286–92. doi:10.1038/sj.leu.2402175. PMID   11480573.
  6. 1 2 "Entrez Gene: TSLP thymic stromal lymphopoietin".
  7. Reche PA, Soumelis V, Gorman DM, Clifford T, Travis M, Zurawski SM, et al. (July 2001). "Human thymic stromal lymphopoietin preferentially stimulates myeloid cells". Journal of Immunology. 167 (1): 336–43. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.167.1.336 . PMID   11418668.
  8. 1 2 3 Ebner S, Nguyen VA, Forstner M, Wang YH, Wolfram D, Liu YJ, Romani N (April 2007). "Thymic stromal lymphopoietin converts human epidermal Langerhans cells into antigen-presenting cells that induce proallergic T cells". The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 119 (4): 982–90. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2007.01.003. PMID   17320941.
  9. Watanabe N, Wang YH, Lee HK, Ito T, Wang YH, Cao W, Liu YJ (August 2005). "Hassall's corpuscles instruct dendritic cells to induce CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in human thymus". Nature. 436 (7054): 1181–5. Bibcode:2005Natur.436.1181W. doi:10.1038/nature03886. PMID   16121185. S2CID   4387582.
  10. Hanabuchi S, Ito T, Park WR, Watanabe N, Shaw JL, Roman E, et al. (March 2010). "Thymic stromal lymphopoietin-activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells induce the generation of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells in human thymus". Journal of Immunology. 184 (6): 2999–3007. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0804106. PMC   3325785 . PMID   20173030.
  11. Verstraete, K.; Savvides, S.N. (2017-04-05). "Structure of human TSLP in complex with TSLPR and IL-7Ralpha". Worldwide Protein Data Bank. doi:10.2210/pdb5j11/pdb.
  12. Verstraete, K.; Savvides, S.N. (2017-04-05). "Structure of human TSLP in complex with TSLPR and IL-7Ralpha". Worldwide Protein Data Bank. doi:10.2210/pdb5j11/pdb.
  13. Isaksen DE, Baumann H, Trobridge PA, Farr AG, Levin SD, Ziegler SF (December 1999). "Requirement for stat5 in thymic stromal lymphopoietin-mediated signal transduction". Journal of Immunology. 163 (11): 5971–7. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.163.11.5971 . PMID   10570284. S2CID   7211559.
  14. Ying S, O'Connor B, Ratoff J, Meng Q, Mallett K, Cousins D, et al. (June 2005). "Thymic stromal lymphopoietin expression is increased in asthmatic airways and correlates with expression of Th2-attracting chemokines and disease severity". Journal of Immunology. 174 (12): 8183–90. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.174.12.8183 . PMID   15944327.
  15. Koyama K, Ozawa T, Hatsushika K, Ando T, Takano S, Wako M, et al. (May 2007). "A possible role for TSLP in inflammatory arthritis". Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 357 (1): 99–104. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.03.081. PMID   17416344.
  16. Soumelis V, Liu YJ (February 2004). "Human thymic stromal lymphopoietin: a novel epithelial cell-derived cytokine and a potential key player in the induction of allergic inflammation". Springer Seminars in Immunopathology. 25 (3–4): 325–33. doi:10.1007/s00281-003-0152-0. PMID   14999427. S2CID   9713181.
  17. Soumelis V, Reche PA, Kanzler H, Yuan W, Edward G, Homey B, et al. (July 2002). "Human epithelial cells trigger dendritic cell mediated allergic inflammation by producing TSLP" (PDF). Nature Immunology. 3 (7): 673–80. doi:10.1038/ni805. PMID   12055625. S2CID   9648786.
  18. Demehri S, Morimoto M, Holtzman MJ, Kopan R (May 2009). "Skin-derived TSLP triggers progression from epidermal-barrier defects to asthma". PLOS Biology. 7 (5): e1000067. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000067. PMC   2700555 . PMID   19557146.
  19. "Tezspire- tezepelumab-ekko injection, solution". DailyMed. Retrieved 24 December 2021.
  20. "Tezspire (tezepelumab) approved in the US for severe asthma". AstraZeneca (Press release). 17 December 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  21. Verstraete K, Peelman F, Braun H, Lopez J, Van Rompaey D, Dansercoer A, et al. (April 2017). "Structure and antagonism of the receptor complex mediated by human TSLP in allergy and asthma". Nature Communications. 8: 14937. Bibcode:2017NatCo...814937V. doi:10.1038/ncomms14937. PMC   5382266 . PMID   28368013.
  22. Park S, Park Y, Son SH, Lee K, Jung YW, Lee KY, et al. (October 2017). "Synthesis and biological evaluation of peptide-derived TSLP inhibitors". Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 27 (20): 4710–4713. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.09.010. PMID   28927768.
  23. Park BB, Choi JW, Park D, Choi D, Paek J, Kim HJ, et al. (June 2019). "Structure-Activity Relationships of Baicalein and its Analogs as Novel TSLP Inhibitors". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 8762. Bibcode:2019NatSR...9.8762P. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-44853-5. PMC   6584507 . PMID   31217492.
  24. Van Rompaey D, Verstraete K, Peelman F, Savvides SN, Augustyns K, Van Der Veken P, De Winter H (December 2017). "Virtual screening for inhibitors of the human TSLP:TSLPR interaction". Scientific Reports. 7 (1): 17211. Bibcode:2017NatSR...717211V. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17620-7. PMC   5722893 . PMID   29222519.

Further reading