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Science. 2002 Jan 11;295(5553):336-8.

Development of spontaneous airway changes consistent with human asthma in mice lacking T-bet.

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  • 1Critical Care and Pulmonary Division, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Human asthma is associated with airway infiltration by T helper 2 (TH2) lymphocytes. We observed reduced expression of the TH1 transcription factor, T-bet, in T cells from airways of patients with asthma compared with that in T cells from airways of nonasthmatic patients, suggesting that loss of T-bet might be associated with asthma. Mice with a targeted deletion of the T-bet gene and severe combined immunodeficient mice receiving CD4+ cells from T-bet knockout mice spontaneously demonstrated multiple physiological and inflammatory features characteristic of asthma. Thus, T-bet deficiency, in the absence of allergen exposure, induces a murine phenotype reminiscent of both acute and chronic human asthma.

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