Divergent effects of calcineurin Aβ on regulatory and conventional T-cell homeostasis

Thomas Doetschman, Allyson Sholl, Hwu dau rw Chen, Connie Gard, David A. Hildeman, Ramireddy Bommireddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Calcineurin (CN) is a phosphatase that activates nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT). While the CN inhibitors cyclosporine A (CsA) and tacrolimus (FK506) can prevent graft rejection, they also cause inflammatory diseases. We investigated the role of calcineurin using mice deficient in the CN catalytic subunit Aβ (CNAβ). Cnab-/- mice exhibit defective thymocyte maturation, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly. Further, as Cnab-/- mice age, they exhibit spontaneous T-cell activation and enhanced production of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-6, and IFNγ). FOXP3+ Treg cells were significantly decreased in Cnab-/- mice likely contributing to increased T-cell activation. Interestingly, we found that CNAβ is critical for promotion of BCL-2 expression in FOXP3+ Treg and for permitting TGFβ signaling, as TGFβ induces FOXP3 in control but not in Cnab-/- T-cells. Together, these data suggest that CNAβ is important for the production and maintenance of Treg cells and to ensure mature T-cell quiescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Calcineurin
  • Cyclosporin A
  • FOXP3
  • Inflammation
  • Knockout
  • Treg cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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