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Immunol Cell Biol. 2002 Jun;80(3):231-40.

Rac2-deficient mice display perturbed T-cell distribution and chemotaxis, but only minor abnormalities in T(H)1 responses.

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Divisions of Cancer, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, South Australia.


The haematopoietic-specific RhoGTPase, Rac2, has been indirectly implicated in T-lymphocyte development and function, and as a pivotal regulator of T Helper 1 (T(H)1) responses. In other haematopoietic cells it regulates cytoskeletal rearrangement downstream of extracellular signals. Here we demonstrate that Rac2 deficiency results in an abnormal distribution of T lymphocytes in vivo and defects in T-lymphocyte migration and filamentous actin generation in response to chemoattractants in vitro. To investigate the requirement for Rac2 in IFN-gamma production and TH1 responses in vivo, Rac2-deficient mice were challenged with Leishmania major and immunized with ovalbumin-expressing cytomegalovirus. Despite a minor skewing towards a T(H)2 phenotype, Rac2-deficient mice displayed no increased susceptibility to L. major infection. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses to cytomegalovirus and ovalbumin were also normal. Although Rac2 is required for normal T-lymphocyte migration, its role in the generation of T(H)1 responses to infection in vivo is largely redundant.

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