Stat4 is critical for the balance between Th17 cells and regulatory T cells in colitis

Jiangnan Xu, Yu Yang, Guixing Qiu, Girdhari Lal, Na Yin, Zhihong Wu, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Yaozhong Ding

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29 Scopus citations


Th17 play a central role in autoimmune inflammatory responses. Th1 are also necessary for autoimmune disease development. The interplay of Th1 signals and how they coordinate with Th17 during inflammatory disease pathogenesis are incompletely understood. In this study, by adding Stat4 deficiency to Stat6/T-bet double knockout, we further dissected the role of Stat4 in Th1 development and colitis induction. We showed that in the absence of the strong Th2 mediator Stat6, neither Stat4 nor T-bet is required for IFN-γ production and Th1 development. However, addition of Stat4 deficiency abolished colitis induced by Stat6/T-bet double-knockout cells, despite Th1 and Th17 responses. The failure of colitis induction by Stat4/Stat6/T-bet triple-knockout cells is largely due to elevated Foxp3+ regulatory T cell (Treg) development. These results highlight the critical role of Stat4 Th1 signals in autoimmune responses in suppressing Foxp3+ Treg responses and altering the balance between Th17 and Tregs to favor autoimmune disease. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6597-6606
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2011


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