Research ArticleImmunology

Essential roles for Cavβ2 and Cav1 channels in thymocyte development and T cell homeostasis

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Science Signaling  20 Oct 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 399, pp. ra103
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac7538

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Channeling calcium for T cell development

Ca2+ signaling in response to stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR) is critical to the activation of transcription factors, such as nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), and the development of T cells in the thymus. Jha et al. found that mice with a T cell–specific deficiency in the β2 regulatory subunit of voltage-gated calcium (Cav) channels had fewer thymocytes and peripheral T cells than did control mice. Loss of the β2 subunit resulted in decreased Ca2+ influx in thymocytes in response to TCR stimulation, defective NFAT responses, and decreased thymocyte proliferation. Together, these data suggest that Cav channels contribute to the Ca2+ influx that is required for T cell development.

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