Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2014 May 2;9(5):e96401. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096401. eCollection 2014.

Protein kinase C θ regulates the phenotype of murine CD4+ Th17 cells.

Author information

1
Translational Cell Genetics, Department of Pharmacology and Genetics, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Abstract

Protein kinase C θ (PKCθ) is involved in signaling downstream of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and is important for shaping effector T cell functions and inflammatory disease development. Acquisition of Th1-like effector features by Th17 cells has been linked to increased pathogenic potential. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying Th17/Th1 phenotypic instability remain largely unknown. In the current study, we address the role of PKCθ in differentiation and function of Th17 cells by using genetic knock-out mice. Implementing in vitro (polarizing T cell cultures) and in vivo (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model, EAE) techniques, we demonstrated that PKCθ-deficient CD4+ T cells show normal Th17 marker gene expression (interleukin 17A/F, RORγt), accompanied by enhanced production of the Th1-typical markers such as interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and transcription factor T-bet. Mechanistically, this phenotype was linked to aberrantly elevated Stat4 mRNA levels in PKCθ-/- CD4+ T cells during the priming phase of Th17 differentiation. In contrast, transcription of the Stat4 gene was suppressed in Th17-primed wild-type cells. This change in cellular effector phenotype was reflected in vivo by prolonged neurological impairment of PKCθ-deficient mice during the course of EAE. Taken together, our data provide genetic evidence that PKCθ is critical for stabilizing Th17 cell phenotype by selective suppression of the STAT4/IFN-γ/T-bet axis at the onset of differentiation.

PMID:
24788550
PMCID:
PMC4008503
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0096401
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication type

MeSH terms

Substances

Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center