New role for Agrin in T cells and its potential importance in immune system regulation
1 Centre for Rheumatology, Royal Free and University College Medical School, University College London, London W1P 4JF, UK
2 Biochemical Pharmacology, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:205 doi:10.1186/ar2957Published: 12 April 2010
Agrin plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the neuromuscular junction. However, it is expressed in other tissues as well, including T lymphocytes, where cell activation induces its expression. Agrin from activated T cells has the capacity to induce aggregation of key receptors and to regulate signalling. Interestingly, T cells isolated from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus over-express Agrin and its co-stimulation with the T cell receptor enhances production of pathogenic cytokines. These early studies point to an important function for Agrin in T cell biology and make the case for a more thorough and systematic investigation into its role in the immune system.