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J Immunol. 2014 Apr 1;192(7):3336-44. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1301949. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Dissecting the role of retinoic acid receptor isoforms in the CD8 response to infection.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH 03756.


Vitamin A deficiency leads to increased susceptibility to a spectrum of infectious diseases. The studies presented dissect the intrinsic role of each of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) isoforms in the clonal expansion, differentiation, and survival of pathogen-specific CD8 T cells in vivo. The data show that RARα is required for the expression of gut-homing receptors on CD8(+) T cells and survival of CD8(+) T cells in vitro. Furthermore, RARα is essential for survival of CD8(+) T cells in vivo following Listeria monocytogenes infection. In contrast, RARβ deletion leads to modest deficiency in Ag-specific CD8(+) T cell expansion during infection. The defective survival of RARα-deficient CD8(+) T cells leads to a deficiency in control of L. monocytogenes expansion in the spleen. To our knowledge, these are the first comparative studies of the role of RAR isoforms in CD8(+) T cell immunity.

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