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T Cell Factor-1 and beta-catenin regulate the development of memory-like CD8 thymocytes

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • A. Sharma
  • Q. Chen
  • T. Nguyen
  • Q. Yu
  • J.M. Sen


Innate memory-like CD8 thymocytes develop and acquire effector function during maturation in the absence of encounter with antigens. In this study, we demonstrate that enhanced function of transcription factors T Cell Factor (TCF)-1 and beta-catenin regulate the frequency of promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF)-expressing, IL-4-producing thymocytes that promote the generation of eomesodermin-expressing innate memory-like CD8 thymocytes in trans. In contrast, TCF1-deficient mice do not have PLZF-expressing thymocytes and eomesodermin-expressing innate memory-like CD8 thymocytes. Generation of TCF1 and beta-catenin-dependent innate memory-like CD8 thymocytes is non-cell-intrinsic and requires the expression of IL-4 and IL-4R. Innate CD8 memory-like thymocytes migrate to the peripheral lymphoid organs, and the memory-like CD8 T cells rapidly produce IFN-gamma. Thus, TCF1 and beta-catenin regulate the generation of PLZF-expressing thymocytes and thereby facilitate the generation of innate memory-like CD8 T cells in the thymus.

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