Differential dependence of CD4+CD25+ regulatory and natural killer-like T cells on signals leading to NF-kappaB activation

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Mar 30;101(13):4566-71. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0400885101. Epub 2004 Mar 16.


Natural killer-like (NK) T, regulatory T (TR), and memory type T cells display surface phenotypes reminiscent of activated T cells. Previously, we reported that the generation of TR cells and, to a lesser extent, of memory type T cells, depends on IkappaB kinase 2. Here, we show that T cell-specific ablation of IkappaB kinase 2, in addition, completely precludes NKT cell development. T cell antigen receptor (TCR)-induced signals to activate NF-kappaB are essential for mature T cell activation, leading us to hypothesize that this pathway could play an important role in the generation of the antigen-driven T cell subsets comprising TR, memory type T, and NKT cells. TCR-mediated NF-kappaB activation critically depends on Bcl10 and PKCtheta. By using mice deficient for these proteins, we demonstrate that the generation of TR and, to a lesser extent, of memory type T cells, depends on Bcl10 and PKCtheta, and therefore, most likely on NF-kappaB activation initiated by TCR engagement. NKT cells, on the other hand, require PKCtheta for thymic development, whereas absence of Bcl10 leads primarily to the reduction of peripheral NKT cell numbers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Animals
  • B-Cell CLL-Lymphoma 10 Protein
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / deficiency
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • B-Cell CLL-Lymphoma 10 Protein
  • Bcl10 protein, mouse
  • CD4 Antigens
  • Carrier Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Chuk protein, mouse
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • Ikbkb protein, mouse
  • Ikbke protein, mouse