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J Immunol. 2005 Jan 1;174(1):294-301.

IL-12, but not IFN-alpha, promotes STAT4 activation and Th1 development in murine CD4+ T cells expressing a chimeric murine/human Stat2 gene.

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1
Center for Immunology and Department of Molecular Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.

Abstract

Humans and mice have evolved distinct pathways for Th1 cell development. Although IL-12 promotes CD4(+) Th1 development in both murine and human T cells, IFN-alphabeta drives Th1 development only in human cells. This IFN-alphabeta-dependent pathway is not conserved in the mouse species due in part to a specific mutation within murine Stat2. Restoration of this pathway in murine T cells would provide the opportunity to more closely model specific human disease states that rely on CD4(+) T cell responses to IFN-alphabeta. To this end, the C terminus of murine Stat2, harboring the mutation, was replaced with the corresponding human Stat2 sequence by a knockin targeting strategy within murine embryonic stem cells. Chimeric m/h Stat2 knockin mice were healthy, bred normally, and exhibited a normal lymphoid compartment. Furthermore, the murine/human STAT2 protein was expressed in murine CD4(+) T cells and was activated by murine IFN-alpha signaling. However, the murine/human STAT2 protein was insufficient to restore full IFN-alpha-driven Th1 development as defined by IFN-gamma expression. Furthermore, IL-12, but not IFN-alpha, promoted acute IFN-gamma secretion in collaboration with IL-18 stimulation in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. The inability of T cells to commit to Th1 development correlated with the lack of STAT4 phosphorylation in response to IFN-alpha. This finding suggests that, although the C terminus of human STAT2 is required for STAT4 recruitment and activation by the human type I IFNAR (IFN-alphabetaR), it is not sufficient to restore this process through the murine IFNAR complex.

PMID:
15611252
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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