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Immunity. 2006 Jul;25(1):79-91.

The Tec family tyrosine kinases Itk and Rlk regulate the development of conventional CD8+ T cells.

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1
Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, 01655, USA.

Abstract

The Tec family tyrosine kinases, Itk and Rlk, are expressed in thymocytes and peripheral T cells and regulate thresholds of T cell receptor signaling. Yet little is known about the specific role of Itk- and Rlk-dependent signals in CD8(+) T cell maturation. We show here that Itk(-/-) and Rlk(-/-)Itk(-/-) mice were nearly devoid of conventional CD8(+) T cells and, instead, contained a large population of CD8(+) T cells that bear striking similarity to lineages of innate lymphocytes. Itk(-/-) and Rlk(-/-)Itk(-/-) CD8(+) thymocytes and T cells were CD44(hi), CD122(+), and NK1.1(+); were able to produce interferon-gamma directly ex vivo; and were dependent on interleukin-15. Itk(-/-) and Rlk(-/-)Itk(-/-) CD8(+) thymocytes expressed abundant transcripts for the T box transcription factor, eomesodermin, correlating with their phenotype and function. These data indicate a critical role for Itk and Rlk in conventional CD8(+) T cell development in the thymus.

PMID:
16860759
DOI:
10.1016/j.immuni.2006.05.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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