Molecular aspects of T-cell differentiation

Anjana Rao, Orly Avni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Differentiated T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) T-cells show striking differences in their patterns of cytokine expression. This process is initiated by stimulation with antigen and the cytokines IL-12 and IL-4, respectively, and requires antigen-induced transcription factors such as NFAT and cytokine-induced transcription factors such as STAT4, induced by IL-12, and STAT6, induced by IL-4. This results in induction and maintained expression of subset-specific transcription factors including T-bet in Th1 cells and GATA3 in Th2 cells, which are involved in ensuring the commitment of T-cells to Th1 or Th2 lineages. Here we review the signalling pathways and transcription factors that mediate T-cell differentiation, and describe the epigenetic changes in chromatin structure, locus accessibility and DNA methylation that are known to accompany this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-984
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesR01AI044432


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