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Eur J Immunol. 2011 Dec;41(12):3627-31. doi: 10.1002/eji.201141876. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Intrinsic expression of Nod2 in CD4+ T lymphocytes is not necessary for the development of cell-mediated immunity and host resistance to Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.


Nod2 belongs to the nucleotide-binding domain leucine-rich repeat family of proteins and senses bacterial cell wall components to initiate innate immune responses against various pathogens. Recently, it has been reported that T-cell-intrinsic expression of Nod2 promotes host defense against Toxoplasma gondii infection by inducing type 1 immunity. Here, we present results that demonstrate that Nod2 does not play a role in the defense against T. gondii infection. Nod2-deficient mice were fully capable of inducing Th1 immune responses and did not show enhanced susceptibility to infection. Upon TCR stimulation in vitro, Nod2-deficient CD4(+) T cells showed normal activation, IL-2 production, proliferation, and Th1/2 differentiation. Nod2 mRNA and protein were expressed in CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T cells at substantial levels. Therefore, Nod2, although expressed in CD4(+) T cells, does not have an intrinsic function in T-cell activation and differentiation.

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