Cytokines of the γ(c) family control CD4+ T cell differentiation and function

Nat Immunol. 2012 Nov;13(11):1037-44. doi: 10.1038/ni.2431. Epub 2012 Oct 18.


Naive CD4(+) T cells undergo massive proliferation and differentiation into at least four distinct helper T cell subsets after recognition of foreign antigen-derived peptides presented by dendritic cells. Each helper T cell subset expresses a distinct set of genes that encode unique transcription factor(s), as well as hallmark cytokines. The cytokine environment created by activated CD4(+) T cells, dendritic cells and/or other cell types during the course of differentiation is a major determinant for the helper T cell fate. This Review focuses on the role of cytokines of the common γ-chain (γ(c)) family in the determination of the effector helper T cell phenotype that naive CD4(+) T cells adopt after being activated and in the function of these helper T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / drug effects
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / drug effects*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • Transcription Factors / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Cytokines
  • Transcription Factors