CD4 T cells acquire functional properties including cytokine production upon antigenic stimulation through the T cell receptor (TCR) and differentiate into T helper (Th) cells. Th1 cells produce interferon (IFN)-γ and Th2 cells produce interleukin (IL)-4. Th1 and 2 cells utilize IFN-γ and IL-4 for further maturation and maintenance, respectively. Promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF)-expressing invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells develop in the thymus and acquire functional ability to produce IL-4 and IFN-γ in the thymus in the absence of antigenic stimulation. In response to antigenic stimulation, iNKT cells rapidly produce IFN-γ and IL-4. However, it is still unknown as to whether iNKT cells require these cytokines for maturation or survival in vivo. In this study, using IL-4- and IL-4 receptor- (IL-4R) deficient mice, we demonstrate that IL-4 as well as IL-4R expression is dispensable for the development, function and maintenance of iNKT cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)