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Nat Immunol. 2006 May;7(5):457-65. Epub 2006 Mar 26.

Transcriptional repressor Blimp-1 regulates T cell homeostasis and function.

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Department of Microbiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.


The B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein 1 (Blimp-1) transcriptional repressor is required for terminal differentiation of B lymphocytes. Here we document a function for Blimp-1 in the T cell lineage. Blimp-1-deficient thymocytes showed decreased survival and Blimp-1-deficient mice had more peripheral effector T cells. Mice lacking Blimp-1 developed severe colitis as early as 6 weeks of age, and Blimp-1-deficient regulatory T cells were defective in blocking the development of colitis. Blimp-1 mRNA expression increased substantially in response to T cell receptor stimulation. Compared with wild-type CD4(+) T cells, Blimp-1-deficient CD4(+) T cells proliferated more and produced excess interleukin 2 and interferon-gamma but reduced interleukin 10 after T cell receptor stimulation. These results emphasize a crucial function for Blimp-1 in controlling T cell homeostasis and activation.

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