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Immunity. 2011 Nov 23;35(5):733-45. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.08.017.

Eomesodermin controls interleukin-5 production in memory T helper 2 cells through inhibition of activity of the transcription factor GATA3.

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Department of Immunology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1 Inohana Chuo-ku, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.


The regulation of memory CD4(+) helper T (Th) cell function, such as polarized cytokine production, remains unclear. Here we show that memory T helper 2 (Th2) cells are divided into four subpopulations by CD62L and CXCR3 expression. All four subpopulations produced interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13, whereas only the CD62L(lo)CXCR3(lo) population produced IL-5 accompanied by increased H3-K4 methylation at the Il5 gene locus. The transcription factor Eomesodermin (encoded by Eomes) was highly expressed in memory Th2 cells, whereas its expression was selectively downregulated in the IL-5-producing cells. Il5 expression was enhanced in Eomes-deficient cells, and Eomesodermin was shown to interact with the transcription factor GATA3, preventing GATA3 binding to the Il5 promoter. Memory Th2 cell-dependent airway inflammation was attenuated in the absence of the CD62L(lo)CXCR3(lo) population but was enhanced by Eomes-deficient memory Th2 cells. Thus, IL-5 production in memory Th2 cells is regulated by Eomesodermin via the inhibition of GATA3 activity.

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