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The basic helix-loop-helix transcriptional repressor twist1, as an antagonist of nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB)-dependent cytokine expression, is involved in the regulation of inflammation-induced immunopathology. We show that twist1 is expressed by activated T helper (Th) 1 effector memory (EM) cells. Induction of twist1 in Th cells depended on NF-kappaB, nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), and interleukin (IL)-12 signaling via signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 4. Expression of twist1 was transient after T cell receptor engagement, and increased upon repeated stimulation of Th1 cells. Imprinting for enhanced twist1 expression was characteristic of repeatedly restimulated EM Th cells, and thus of the pathogenic memory Th cells characteristic of chronic inflammation. Th lymphocytes from the inflamed joint or gut tissue of patients with rheumatic diseases, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis expressed high levels of twist1. Expression of twist1 in Th1 lymphocytes limited the expression of the cytokines interferon-gamma, IL-2, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and ameliorated Th1-mediated immunopathology in delayed-type hypersensitivity and antigen-induced arthritis.

Original publication

DOI

10.1084/jem.20072468

Type

Journal article

Journal

The Journal of experimental medicine

Publication Date

08/2008

Volume

205

Pages

1889 - 1901

Addresses

German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany.

Keywords

Th1 Cells, Animals, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred MRL lpr, Mice, Transgenic, Mice, Knockout, Humans, Mice, Mice, SCID, Arthritis, Experimental, Colitis, Ulcerative, Crohn Disease, Inflammation, NF-kappa B, Nuclear Proteins, DNA Primers, Interleukin-12, Lymphocyte Activation, Signal Transduction, Immunologic Memory, Gene Expression, Base Sequence, Homeostasis, NFATC Transcription Factors, Twist-Related Protein 1