Glucocorticoid-mediated repression of T-cell receptor signalling is impaired in glucocorticoid receptor exon 2-disrupted mice

Douglas Liddicoat, Jared F Purton, Timothy James Cole, Dale I Godfrey

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Studies using glucocorticoid receptor exon 2-disrupted knockout (GR2KO) mice provided strong evidence against an obligatory role for glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signalling in T-cell selection. These mice express a truncated form of the GR that is incapable of transmitting a range of glucocorticoid (GC)-induced signals, including GC-induced thymocyte death. However, one study that suggested that truncated GR function is preserved in the context of GR-mediated repression of T-cell activation-induced genes, challenged earlier conclusions derived from the use of these mice. Because GR versus T-cell receptor (TCR) signalling cross-talk is the means by which GCs are hypothesized to have a role in T-cell selection, we reassessed the utility of GR2KO mice to study the role of the GR in this process. Here, we show that GR-mediated repression of TCR signalling is impaired in GR2KO T cells in terms of TCR-induced activation, proliferation and cytokine production. GC-induced apoptosis was largely abolished in peripheral T cells, and induction of the GC-responsive molecule, interleukin-7 receptor, was also severely reduced in GR2KO thymocytes. Together, these data strongly re-affirm conclusions derived from earlier studies of these mice that the GR is not obligatory for normal T-cell selection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148 - 155
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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