Invariant NKT cell development and function in microRNA-223 knockout mice

Kai Li, Kook Heon Seo, Tianwen Gao, Quanhui Zheng, Rui Qun Qi, He Wang, Matthew Weiland, Zheng Dong, Qing Sheng Mi, Li Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, potent regulators of diverse immune responses, have been implicated in a number of diseases. The detailed mechanisms that drive iNKT cell development and maturation are still not completely understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate vast networks of genes that share miRNA target sequences. Our previous studies indicate that Dicer-dependent miRNAs play important roles in iNKT cell development, maturation, and function, but the roles of specific single miRNAs in this context are still lacking. Accumulated studies indicated that the miRNA miR-223 is a myeloid-specific miRNA. Here we report that miR-223 is highly expressed in thymic immature and activated splenic iNKT cells. To identify the role of miR-223 in iNKT cell development and function, miRNA-223-deficient mice were used. We have found that miR-223 deletion does not significantly interrupt iNKT cell development in the thymus, and miR-223-deficient mice have a normal frequency and number of iNKT cells in the thymus and peripheral immune organs. Furthermore, cytokine production of iNKT cells activated in vivo and in vitro shows no significant differences between miR-223 deficient mice and wild-type control. Thus, our data suggest that miR-223 may not be required for iNKT cell development and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • MicroRNA
  • NKT
  • T cells
  • Thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology


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