NF-κB: roles and regulation in different CD4(+) T-cell subsets

Immunol Rev. 2013 Mar;252(1):41-51. doi: 10.1111/imr.12033.


The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) family of transcription factors plays important roles in various biological processes including apoptosis, stress response, immunity, and inflammation. NF-κB signaling is involved in both immune cell development and function, and it is critical in modulation of the immune response through the transcriptional regulation of cytokine and chemokine expression. An area of great interest in T-cell-mediated adaptive immunity is the ability of naive CD4(+) T cells generated in the thymus to differentiate into various subsets including T-helper 1 (Th1), Th2, Th17, Th9, follicular helper T (Tfh), Th22, and regulatory T (Treg) cells, upon encountering different pathogens and microenvironments. In this review, we discuss the role of NF-κB pathway in the development and functional divergence of the different helper T-cell subsets as well as in regulatory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • NF-kappa B / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / immunology
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cytokines
  • NF-kappa B
  • Transcription Factors