Cell intrinsic role of NF-κB-inducing kinase in regulating T cell-mediated immune and autoimmune responses

Yanchuan Li, Hui Wang, Xiaofei Zhou, Xiaoping Xie, Xiang Chen, Zuliang Jie, Qiang Zou, Hongbo Hu, Lele Zhu, Xuhong Cheng, Hans D. Brightbill, Lawren C. Wu, Linfang Wang, Shao Cong Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

NF-κB inducing kinase (NIK) is a central component of the noncanonical NF-κB signaling pathway. Although NIK has been extensively studied for its function in the regulation of lymphoid organ development and B-cell maturation, the role of NIK in regulating T cell functions remains unclear and controversial. Using T cell-conditional NIK knockout mice, we here demonstrate that although NIK is dispensable for thymocyte development, it has a cell-intrinsic role in regulating the homeostasis and function of peripheral T cells. T cell-specific NIK ablation reduced the frequency of effector/memory-like T cells and impaired T cell responses to bacterial infection. The T cell-conditional NIK knockout mice were also defective in generation of inflammatory T cells and refractory to the induction of a T cell-dependent autoimmune disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Our data suggest a crucial role for NIK in mediating the generation of effector T cells and their recall responses to antigens. Together, these findings establish NIK as a cell-intrinsic mediator of T cell functions in both immune and autoimmune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22115
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 25 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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