The transcription factor PU.1 is required for the development of IL-9-producing T cells and allergic inflammation

Nat Immunol. 2010 Jun;11(6):527-34. doi: 10.1038/ni.1867. Epub 2010 May 2.


CD4(+) helper T cells acquire effector phenotypes that promote specialized inflammatory responses. We show that the ETS-family transcription factor PU.1 was required for the development of an interleukin 9 (IL-9)-secreting subset of helper T cells. Decreasing PU.1 expression either by conditional deletion in mouse T cells or the use of small interfering RNA in human T cells impaired IL-9 production, whereas ectopic PU.1 expression promoted IL-9 production. Mice with PU.1-deficient T cells developed normal T helper type 2 (T(H)2) responses in vivo but showed attenuated allergic pulmonary inflammation that corresponded to lower expression of Il9 and chemokines in peripheral T cells and in lungs than that of wild-type mice. Together our data suggest a critical role for PU.1 in generating the IL-9-producing (T(H)9) phenotype and in the development of allergic inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity*
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-9 / genetics
  • Interleukin-9 / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Trans-Activators / immunology*


  • Interleukin-9
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • proto-oncogene protein Spi-1