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Activated β-catenin in Foxp3+ regulatory T cells links inflammatory environments to autoimmunity.

A new interesting article has been published in Nat Immunol. 2018 Dec;19(12):1391-1402. doi: 10.1038/s41590-018-0236-6. Epub 2018 Oct 29. and titled:

Activated β-catenin in Foxp3+ regulatory T cells links inflammatory environments to autoimmunity.

Authors of this article are:

Sumida T, Lincoln MR, Ukeje CM, Rodriguez DM, Akazawa H, Noda T, Naito AT, Komuro I, Dominguez-Villar M, Hafler DA.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Treg cells) are the central component of peripheral immune tolerance. Whereas a dysregulated Treg cytokine signature has been observed in autoimmune diseases, the regulatory mechanisms underlying pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine production are elusive. Here, we identify an imbalance between the cytokines IFN-γ and IL-10 as a shared Treg signature present in patients with multiple sclerosis and under high-salt conditions. RNA-sequencing analysis on human Treg subpopulations revealed β-catenin as a key regulator of IFN-γ and IL-10 expression. The activated β-catenin signature was enriched in human IFN-γ+ Treg cells, as confirmed in vivo with Treg-specific β-catenin-stabilized mice exhibiting lethal autoimmunity with a dysfunctional Treg phenotype. Moreover, we identified prostaglandin E receptor 2 (PTGER2) as a regulator of IFN-γ and IL-10 production under a high-salt environment, with skewed activation of the β-catenin-SGK1-Foxo axis. Our findings reveal a novel PTGER2-β-catenin loop in Treg cells linking environmental high-salt conditions to autoimmunity.

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