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J Immunol. 2017 Mar 1;198(5):1910-1920. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1601011. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

The Insulin Receptor Plays a Critical Role in T Cell Function and Adaptive Immunity.

Author information

1
Institute for Cellular and Molecular Immunology, University Medical Center Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany; and.
2
Institute for Multiple Sclerosis Research and Neuroimmunology, University Medical Center Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.
3
Institute for Cellular and Molecular Immunology, University Medical Center Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany; and hreichardt@med.uni-goettingen.de.

Abstract

T cell activation is an energy-demanding process fueled by increased glucose consumption and accompanied by upregulation of the insulin receptor (INSR). In this article, we report that silencing the INSR in inducible knockdown rats impairs selective T cell functions but not thymocyte development. Glucose transport and glycolysis in activated CD4+ T cells were compromised in the absence of the INSR, which was associated with alterations in intracellular signaling pathways. The observed metabolic defects coincided with reduced cytokine production, proliferation, and migration, as well as increased apoptosis of CD4+ T cells. The cytotoxicity of CD8+ T cells in response to alloantigens was also diminished under these conditions, whereas the frequency and suppressive capacity of regulatory T cells were unaffected. The observed impairments proved to be decisive in vivo because silencing of the INSR attenuated clinical symptoms in animal models of acute graft-versus-host disease and multiple sclerosis. Taken together, our results suggest that upregulation of the INSR on T cells following activation is required for efficient adaptive immunity.

PMID:
28115529
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.1601011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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