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J Immunol. 2004 Sep 15;173(6):3871-7.

An indispensable role for STAT1 in IL-27-induced T-bet expression but not proliferation of naive CD4+ T cells.

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  • 1Intractable Immune System Disease Research Center, Tokyo Medical University, Japan.


IL-27 is a novel IL-12 family member that plays a role in the early regulation of Th1 initiation, induces proliferation of naive CD4+ T cells, and synergizes with IL-12 in IFN-gamma production. It has been recently reported that IL-27 induces T-bet and IL-12Rbeta2 expression through JAK1/STAT1 activation. In the present study, we further investigated the JAK/STAT signaling molecules activated by IL-27 and also the role of STAT1 in IL-27-mediated responses using STAT1-deficient mice. In addition to JAK1 and STAT1, IL-27-activated JAK2, tyrosine kinase-2, and STAT2, -3, and -5 in naive CD4+ T cells. The activation of STAT2 and STAT5, but not of STAT3, was greatly diminished in STAT1-deficient naive CD4+ T cells. Comparable proliferative response to IL-27 was observed between STAT1-deficient and wild-type naive CD4+ T cells. In contrast, IL-27 hardly induced T-bet and subsequent IL-12Rbeta2 expression, and synergistic IFN-gamma production by IL-27 and IL-12 was impaired in STAT1-deficient naive CD4+ T cells. Moreover, IL-27 augmented the expression of MHC class I on naive CD4+ T cells in a STAT1-dependent manner. These results suggest that IL-27 activates JAK1 and -2, tyrosine kinase-2, STAT1, -2, -3, and -5 in naive CD4+ T cells and that STAT1 plays an indispensable role in IL-27-induced T-bet and subsequent IL-12Rbeta2 expression and MHC class I expression as well but not proliferation, while STAT3 presumably plays an important role in IL-27-induced proliferation.

Copyright 2004 The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

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