KLF13 sustains thymic memory-like CD8+ T cells in BALB/c mice by regulating IL-4-generating invariant natural killer T cells

Dazhi Lai, Jinfang Zhu, Tianhong Wang, Jane Hu-Li, Masaki Terabe, Jay A. Berzofsky, Carol Clayberger, Alan M. Krensky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

"Memory-like T cells" are a subset of thymic cells that acquire effector function through the maturation process rather than interaction with specific antigen. Disruption of genes encoding T cell signaling proteins or transcription factors have provided insights into the differentiation of such cells. In this study, we show that in BALB/c, but not C57BL/6, mice, a large portion of thymic CD4-CD8+ T cells exhibit a memory-like phenotype. In BALB/c mice, IL-4 secreted by invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells is both essential and sufficient for the generation of memory-like T cells. In C57BL/6 mice, iNKT cells are less abundant, producing IL-4 that is insufficient to induce thymic memory-like CD8+ T cells. BALB/c mice deficient in the transcription factor Kruppel-like factor (KLF) 13 have comparable numbers of iNKT cells to C57BL/6 mice and extremely low levels of thymic memory-like CD8+ T cells. This work documents the impact of a small number of KLF13-dependent iNKT cells on the generation of memory-like CD8+ T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1093-1103
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume208
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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