Residual type 1 immunity in patients genetically deficient for interleukin 12 receptor beta 1 (IL-12R beta 1): Evidence for an IL-12R beta 1-independent pathway of IL-12 responsiveness in human T cells

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Verhagen C., de Boer T., Smits H., Verreck F., Wierenga E., Kurimoto M., ...More

JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, vol.192, no.4, pp.517-528, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 192 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1084/jem.192.4.517
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.517-528
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


Genetic lack of interleukin 12 receptor beta 1 (IL-12R beta 1) surface expression predisposes to severe infections by poorly pathogenic mycobacteria or Salmonella and causes strongly decreased, but not completely abrogated, interferon (IFN)-gamma production. To study IL-12R beta 1-independent residual IFN-gamma production, we have generated mycobacterium-specific T cell clones (TCCs) from IL-12R beta 1-deficient individuals. All TCCs displayed a T helper type 1 phenotype and the majority responded to IL-12 by increased IFN-gamma production and proliferative responses upon activation. This response to IL-12 could be further augmented by exogenous IL-18. IL-12R beta 2 was found to be: normally expressed in the absence of IL-12R beta 1, and could be upregulated by IFN-alpha. Expression of IL-12R beta 2 alone, however, was insufficient to induce signal transducer and activator of transcription (Stat)LF activation in response to IL-12, whereas IFN-alpha/IFN-alpha R ligation resulted in Stat4 activation in both control and IL-12R beta 1-deficient cells. IL-12 failed to upregulate cell surface expression of IL-18R, integrin alpha 6, and IL-12R beta 2 on IL-12R beta 2-deficient cells, whereas this was normal on control cells. IL-12-induced IFN-gamma production in IL-12R beta 1-deficient T cells could be inhibited by the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP) kinase inhibitor SB203580 and the MAP kinase kinase (MEK) 1/2 inhibitor U0126, suggesting involvement of MAP kinases in this alternative, Stat4-independent, IL-12 signaling pathway.