Cytokines and transcription factors that regulate T helper cell differentiation: New players and new insights

Davide Agnello, Carla S.R. Lankford, Jay Bream, Akio Morinobu, Massimo Gadina, John J. O'Shea, David M. Frucht

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into subsets of T helper cells is a pivotal process with major implications for host defense and the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases. Though the basic paradigm was discovered more than 15 years ago, new discoveries continue to be made that offer fresh insights into the regulation of this process (1). T helper (TH)1 cells produce interferon (IFN)-γ, promoting cell-mediated immunity and control of intracellular pathogens. We now know that TH1 differentiation is regulated by transcription factors such as T-bet, Stat1, and Stat4, as well as cytokines such as IL-12, IL-23, IL-27, type I IFNs, and IFN-γ. In contrast, TH2 cells produce IL-4, which promotes allergic responses and is important in host defense against helminths. The transcription factors Stat6, GATA-3, c-Maf, NFATs, and the cytokine IL-4 promote TH2 differentiation. These key regulators of TH differentiation are the subject of this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Differentiation
  • GATA-3
  • IL-12
  • IL-23
  • IL-27
  • Interferon-γ
  • Interleukin (IL)-4
  • NFATs
  • Stat1
  • Stat4
  • Stat6
  • T helper (T) cells
  • T1 cells
  • T2 cells
  • c-Maf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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