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The NF-κB1 transcription factor prevents the intrathymic development of CD8 T cells with memory properties.

Gugasyan R, Horat E, Kinkel SA, Ross F, Grigoriadis G, Gray D, O'Keeffe M, Berzins SP, Belz GT, Grumont RJ, Banerjee A, Strasser A, Godfrey DI, Tsichlis PN, Gerondakis S

  • Journal The EMBO journal

  • Published 29 Nov 2011

  • Volume 31

  • ISSUE 3

  • Pagination 692-706

  • DOI 10.1038/emboj.2011.435


The role of specific members of the NF-κB family of transcription factors in CD8 T-cell selection and development is largely unknown. Here, we show that mice lacking NF-κB1 develop a unique population of conventional CD8 single-positive (SP) thymocytes with memory T cell-like properties that populate peripheral immune organs. Development of this memory-like population is not due to PLZF(+) thymocytes and instead coincides with changes in CD8 T-cell selection. These include a reduction in the efficiency of negative selection and a dependence on MHC class Ia or Ib expressed by haematopoietic cells. These findings indicate that NF-κB1 regulates multiple events in the thymus that collectively inhibit the excess development of CD8(+) thymocytes with memory cell characteristics.