Molecular Antagonism and Plasticity of Regulatory and Inflammatory T Cell Programs

Academic Article


  • Regulatory T (Treg) and T helper 17 (Th17) cells were recently proposed to be reciprocally regulated during differentiation. To understand the underlying mechanisms, we utilized a Th17 reporter mouse with a red fluorescent protein (RFP) sequence inserted into the interleukin-17F (IL-17F) gene. Using IL-17F-RFP together with a Foxp3 reporter, we found that the development of Th17 and Foxp3+ Treg cells was associated in immune responses. Although TGF-β receptor I signaling was required for both Foxp3 and IL-17 induction, SMAD4 was only involved in Foxp3 upregulation. Foxp3 inhibited Th17 differentiation by antagonizing the function of the transcription factors RORγt and RORα. In contrast, IL-6 overcame this suppressive effect of Foxp3 and, together with IL-1, induced genetic reprogramming in Foxp3+ Treg cells. STAT3 regulated Foxp3 downregulation, whereas STAT3, RORγ, and RORα were required for IL-17 expression in Treg cells. Our data demonstrate molecular antagonism and plasticity of Treg and Th17 cell programs. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

  • Immunity  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9314684
  • Author List

  • Yang XO; Nurieva R; Martinez GJ; Kang HS; Chung Y; Pappu BP; Shah B; Chang SH; Schluns KS; Watowich SS
  • Start Page

  • 44
  • End Page

  • 56
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 1