Transcription factors early growth response gene (Egr) 2 and 3 control inflammatory responses of tolerant T cells.
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Immun Inflamm Dis
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INTRODUCTION: Impaired proliferation and production of IL2 are the hallmarks of experimental T cell tolerance. However, in most autoimmune diseases, auto-reactive T cells do not display hyper proliferation, but inflammatory phenotypes. METHODS: We have now demonstrated that the transcription factors Egr2 and 3 are important for the control of inflammatory cytokine production by tolerant T cells, but not for tolerance induction. RESULTS: In the absence of Egr2 and 3, T cell tolerance, as measured by impaired proliferation and production of IL2, can still be induced, but tolerant T cells produced high levels of inflammatory cytokines. Egr2 and 3 regulate expression of differentiation repressors and directly inhibit T-bet function in T cells. Indeed, decreased expression of differentiation repressors, such as Id3 and Tcf1, and increased expression of inflammatory transcription factors, such as RORγt and Bhlhe40 were found in Egr2/3 deficient T cells under tolerogenic conditions. In addition, T-bet was co-expressed with Egr2 in tolerant T cells and Egr2/3 defects leads to production of high levels of IFNγ in tolerant T cells. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that despite impaired proliferation and IL2 production, tolerant T cells can display inflammatory responses in response to antigen stimulation and this is controlled at least partly by Egr2 and 3.
AuthorsOmodho, B; Miao, T; Symonds, ALJ; Singh, R; Li, S; Wang, P
- Centre for Immunobiology 
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