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J Immunol. 2008 Oct 15;181(8):5374-85.

Normal development and activation but altered cytokine production of Fyn-deficient CD4+ T cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


The Src family kinase Fyn is expressed in T cells and has been shown to phosphorylate proteins involved in TCR signaling, cytoskeletal reorganization, and IL-4 production. Fyn-deficient mice have greatly decreased numbers of NKT cells and have thymocytes and T cells with compromised responses following Ab crosslinking of their TCRs. Herein we have addressed the role of Fyn in peptide/MHC class II-induced CD4(+) T cell responses. In Fyn-deficient mice, CD4(+) T cells expressing the DO11.10 TCR transgene developed normally, and the number and phenotype of naive and regulatory DO11.10(+)CD4(+) T cells in the periphery were comparable with their wild-type counterparts. Conjugation with chicken OVA peptide 323-339-loaded APCs, and the subsequent proliferation in vitro or in vivo of DO11.10(+) Fyn-deficient CD4(+) T cells, was virtually indistinguishable from the response of DO11.10(+) wild-type CD4(+) T cells. Proliferation of Fyn-deficient T cells was not more dependent on costimulation through CD28. Additionally, we have found that differentiation, in vitro or in vivo, of transgenic CD4(+) Fyn-deficient T cells into IL-4-secreting effector cells was unimpaired, and under certain conditions DO11.10(+) Fyn-deficient CD4(+) T cells were more potent cytokine-producing cells than DO11.10(+) wild-type CD4(+) T cells. These data demonstrate that ablation of Fyn expression does not alter most Ag-driven CD4(+) T cell responses, with the exception of cytokine production, which under some circumstances is enhanced in Fyn-deficient CD4(+) T cells.

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