Silencing T-bet defines a critical role in the differentiation of autoreactive T lymphocytes

Amy E. Lovett-Racke, Anne E. Rocchini, Judy Choy, Sara C. Northrop, Rehana Z. Hussain, Robert B. Ratts, Devanjan Sikder, Michael K. Racke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


As a means of developing therapies that target the pathogenic T cells in multiple sclerosis (MS) without compromising the immune system or eliciting systemic side effects, we investigated the use of T-bet-specific antisense oligonucleotides and small interfering RNAs (siRNA) to silence T-bet expression in autoreactive encephalitogenic T cells and evaluated the biological consequences of this suppression in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model for MS. The T-bet-specific AS oligonucleotide and siRNA suppressed T-bet expression, IFNγ production, and STAT1 levels during antigen-specific T cell differentiation. In vitro suppression of T-bet during differentiation of myelin-specific T cells and in vivo administration of a T-bet-specific antisense oligonucleotide or siRNA inhibited disease. T-bet was shown to bind the IFNγ and STAT1 promoters, but did not regulate the IL-12/STAT4 pathway. Since T-bet regulates IFNγ production in CD4+ T cells, but to a lesser extent in most other IFNγ-producing cells, T-bet may be a target for therapeutics for Th1-mediated diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-731
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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