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New role for Agrin in T cells and its potential importance in immune system regulation

Elizabeth C Jury1 and Panagiotis S Kabouridis2

Author Affiliations

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/ar2957

Published: 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.