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Nat Immunol. 2008 Dec;9(12):1341-6. doi: 10.1038/ni.1659. Epub 2008 Oct 19.

Transforming growth factor-beta 'reprograms' the differentiation of T helper 2 cells and promotes an interleukin 9-producing subset.

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1
Division of Molecular Immunology, Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research, London NW7 1AA, UK.

Abstract

Since the discovery of T helper type 1 and type 2 effector T cell subsets 20 years ago, inducible regulatory T cells and interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing T helper cells have been added to the 'portfolio' of helper T cells. It is unclear how many more effector T cell subsets there may be and to what degree their characteristics are fixed or flexible. Here we show that transforming growth factor-beta, a cytokine at the center of the differentiation of IL-17-producing T helper cells and inducible regulatory T cells, 'reprograms' T helper type 2 cells to lose their characteristic profile and switch to IL-9 secretion or, in combination with IL-4, drives the differentiation of 'T(H)-9' cells directly. Thus, transforming growth factor-beta constitutes a regulatory 'switch' that in combination with other cytokines can 'reprogram' effector T cell differentiation along different pathways.

PMID:
18931678
DOI:
10.1038/ni.1659
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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