The transcriptional regulator Rel is essential for antigen receptor-mediated stimulation of mature T cells but dispensable for positive and negative selection of thymocytes and T cell apoptosis

Andreas Strasser, Raelene J. Grumont, Maureen L. Stanley, Steve Gerondakis

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The family of Rel/NF-κB transcription factors is a crucial regulator of various cellular responses. Using Rel-deficient (c-rel(-/-)) mice crossed with T cell receptor (TCR)-transgenic mice we show that Rel is neither required for positive selection of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted T cells nor for deletion of thymocytes bearing autoreactive antigen receptors. Our studies also demonstrate that Rel is dispensable for T lymphocyte apoptosis. Rel is, however, essential for antigen-induced activation of mature T cells and its absence exacerbates the anergic state. These results indicate that thymocytes and mature T cells differ in their requirement for Rel in mediating TCR-induced responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)928-935
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • NF-κB
  • Rel
  • T cell activation
  • T cell development
  • Transcription factor

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