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PLoS One. 2016 Aug 23;11(8):e0161505. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161505. eCollection 2016.

Generation of a Novel T Cell Specific Interleukin-1 Receptor Type 1 Conditional Knock Out Mouse Reveals Intrinsic Defects in Survival, Expansion and Cytokine Production of CD4 T Cells.

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Institute for Molecular Medicine, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Mainz, Germany.
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) plays a crucial role in numerous inflammatory diseases via action on its only known signaling IL-1 receptor type 1 (IL-1R1). To investigate the role of IL-1 signaling in selected cell types, we generated a new mouse strain in which exon 5 of the Il1r1 gene is flanked by loxP sites. Crossing of these mice with CD4-Cre transgenic mice resulted in IL-1R1 loss of function specifically in T cells. These mice, termed IL-1R1ΔT, displayed normal development under steady state conditions. Importantly, isolated CD4 positive T cells retained their capacity to differentiate toward Th1 or Th17 cell lineages in vitro, and strongly proliferated in cultures supplemented with either anti-CD3/CD28 or Concanavalin A, but, as predicted, were completely unresponsive to IL-1β administration. Furthermore, IL-1R1ΔT mice were protected from gut inflammation in the anti-CD3 treatment model, due to dramatically reduced frequencies and absolute numbers of IL-17A and interferon (IFN)-γ producing cells. Taken together, our data shows the necessity of intact IL-1 signaling for survival and expansion of CD4 T cells that were developed in an otherwise IL-1 sufficient environment.

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