Th cell subsets develop in response to multiple activating signals, including the cytokine environment. IL-9-secreting T cells develop in response to the combination of IL-4 and TGF-b, although they clearly require other cytokine signals, leading to the activation of transcription factors including STAT5. In Th17 cells, there is a molecular antagonism of STAT5 with STAT3 signaling, although whether this paradigm exists in other Th subsets is not clear. In this paper, we demonstrate that STAT3 attenuates the ability of STAT5 to promote the development of IL-9-secreting T cells. We demonstrate that production of IL-9 is increased in the absence of STAT3 and cytokines that result in a sustained activation of STAT3, including IL-6, have the greatest potency in repressing IL-9 production in a STAT3-dependent manner. Increased IL-9 production in the absence of STAT3 correlates with increased endogenous IL-2 production and STAT5 activation, and blocking IL-2 responses eliminates the difference in IL-9 production between wild-type and STAT3-deficient T cells. Moreover, transduction of developing Th9 cells with a constitutively active STAT5 eliminates the ability of IL-6 to reduce IL-9 production. Thus, STAT3 functions as a negative regulator of IL-9 production through attenuation of STAT5 activation and function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy