Exploring functional in vivo consequences of the selective genetic ablation of mTOR signaling in T helper lymphocytes

Methods Mol Biol. 2012;821:317-27. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-430-8_20.


The mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) defines a crucial link between nutrient sensing and immune function. In CD4+ T cells, mTOR has been shown to play a critical role in regulating effector and regulatory T cell differentiation as well as the decision between full activation versus the induction of anergy. In this chapter, we describe how our group has employed the Cre-lox technology to genetically delete components of the mTOR signaling complex in T cells. This has enabled us to specifically interrogate mTOR function in T cells both in vitro and in vivo. We also describe techniques used to assay immune function and signaling in mTOR-deficient T cells at the single-cell level.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytokines / analysis
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Signal Transduction
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*


  • Cytokines
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sirolimus