The IL-7R regulates the homeostasis, activation, and distribution of T cells in peripheral tissues. Although several transcriptional enhancers that regulate IL-7Rα expression in αβ T cells have been identified, enhancers active in γδ T cells remain unknown. In this article, we discovered an evolutionarily conserved noncoding sequence (CNS) in intron 2 of the IL-7Rα-chain (IL-7Rα) locus and named this region CNS9. CNS9 contained a conserved retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor (ROR)–responsive element (RORE) and exerted RORγt-dependent enhancer activity in vitro. Mice harboring point mutations in the RORE in CNS9 (CNS9-RORmut) showed reduced IL-7Rα expression in IL-17–producing Vγ4+ γδ T cells. In addition, the cell number and IL-17A production of Vγ4+ γδ T cells were reduced in the adipose tissue of CNS9-RORmut mice. Consistent with the reduction in IL-17A, CNS9-RORmut mice exhibited decreased IL-33 expression in the adipose tissue, resulting in fewer regulatory T cells and glucose intolerance. The CNS9-ROR motif was partially responsible for IL-7Rα expression in RORγt+ regulatory T cells, whereas IL-7Rα expression was unaffected in RORγt-expressing Vγ2+ γδ T cells, Th17 cells, type 3 innate lymphoid cells, and invariant NKT cells. Our results indicate that CNS9 is a RORΕ-dependent, Vγ4+ γδ T cell–specific IL-7Rα enhancer that plays a critical role in adipose tissue homeostasis via regulatory T cells, suggesting that the evolutionarily conserved RORΕ in IL-7Rα intron 2 may influence the incidence of type 2 diabetes.

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