An αvβ3 integrin checkpoint is critical for efficient TH2 cell cytokine polarization and potentiation of antigen-specific immunity

Nat Immunol. 2023 Jan;24(1):123-135. doi: 10.1038/s41590-022-01378-w. Epub 2022 Dec 22.


Naive CD4+ T lymphocytes initially undergo antigen-specific activation to promote a broad-spectrum response before adopting bespoke cytokine expression profiles shaped by intercellular microenvironmental cues, resulting in pathogen-focused modular cytokine responses. Interleukin (IL)-4-induced Gata3 upregulation is important for the helper type 2 T cell (TH2 cell) polarization associated with anti-helminth immunity and misdirected allergic inflammation. Whether additional microenvironmental factors participate is unclear. Using whole mouse-genome CRISPR-Cas9 screens, we discovered a previously unappreciated role for αvβ3 integrin in TH2 cell differentiation. Low-level αvβ3 expression by naive CD4+ T cells contributed to pan-T cell activation by promoting T-T cell clustering and IL-2/CD25/STAT5 signaling. Subsequently, IL-4/Gata3-induced selective upregulation of αvβ3 licensed intercellular αvβ3-Thy1 interactions among TH2 cells, enhanced mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, supported differentiation and promoted IL-5/IL-13 production. In mice, αvβ3 was required for efficient, allergen-driven, antigen-specific lung TH2 cell responses. Thus, αvβ3-expressing TH2 cells form multicellular factories to propagate and amplify TH2 cell responses.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytokines* / metabolism
  • Lung
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Th2 Cells*


  • Cytokines
  • Allergens