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The autoimmune regulator Aire is expressed in a small proportion of medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) and is crucial in the induction of central T cell tolerance. The origin and development of Aire(+) mTECs, however, are not well understood. Here we demonstrate that the tight-junction components claudin-3 and claudin-4 (Cld3,4) were 'preferentially'(More)
The Toll-like receptor (TLR) family has important roles in microbial recognition and dendritic cell activation. TLRs 7 and 9 can recognize nucleic acids and trigger signalling cascades that activate plasmacytoid dendritic cells to produce interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) (refs 7, 8). TLR7/9-mediated dendritic cell activation is critical for antiviral immunity(More)
Toll-like receptor-7 (TLR7) and 9, innate immune sensors for microbial RNA or DNA, have been implicated in autoimmunity. Upon activation, TLR7 and 9 are transported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to endolysosomes for nucleic acid sensing by an ER-resident protein, Unc93B1. Little is known, however, about a role for sensor transportation in controlling(More)
NF-kappa B-inducing kinase (NIK) is involved in lymphoid organogenesis in mice through lymphotoxin-beta receptor signaling. To clarify the roles of NIK in T cell activation through TCR/CD3 and costimulation pathways, we have studied the function of T cells from aly mice, a strain with mutant NIK. NIK mutant T cells showed impaired proliferation and IL-2(More)
Medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) establish T cell self-tolerance through the expression of autoimmune regulator (Aire) and peripheral tissue-specific self-antigens. However, signals underlying mTEC development remain largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate crucial regulation of mTEC development by receptor activator of NF-kappaB (RANK) and CD40(More)
The microenvironments of the thymus are generated by thymic epithelial cells (TECs) and are essential for inducing immune self-tolerance or developing T cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the differentiation of TECs and thymic compartmentalization are not fully understood. Here we show that deficiency in the tumor necrosis factor(More)
The roles of autoimmune regulator (Aire)-expressing medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) in the organization of the thymic microenvironment for establishing self-tolerance are enigmatic. We sought to monitor the production and maintenance of Aire-expressing mTECs by a fate-mapping strategy in which bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic (Tg) mice(More)
The thymic medulla provides a microenvironment where medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTECs) express autoimmune regulator and diverse tissue-restricted genes, contributing to launching self-tolerance. Positive selection is essential for thymic medulla formation via a previously unknown mechanism. Here we show that the cytokine RANK ligand (RANKL) was(More)
Myostatin is a potent negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. Therefore, myostatin inhibition offers a novel therapeutic strategy for muscular dystrophy by restoring skeletal muscle mass and suppressing the progression of muscle degeneration. The known myostatin inhibitors include myostatin propeptide, follistatin, follistatin-related proteins, and(More)
The roles of autoimmune regulator (Aire) in the expression of the diverse arrays of tissue-restricted antigen (TRA) genes from thymic epithelial cells in the medulla (medullary thymic epithelial cells [mTECs]) and in organization of the thymic microenvironment are enigmatic. We approached this issue by creating a mouse strain in which the coding sequence of(More)