Dedicator of cytokinesis 8–deficient CD4+ T cells are biased to a TH2 effector fate at the expense of TH1 and TH17 cells

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Dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) deficiency is a combined immunodeficiency caused by autosomal recessive loss-of-function mutations inDOCK8. This disorder is characterized by recurrent cutaneous infections, increased serum IgE levels, and severe atopic disease, including food-induced anaphylaxis. However, the contribution of defects in CD4+ T cells to disease pathogenesis in these patients has not been thoroughly investigated.


We sought to investigate the phenotype and function of DOCK8-deficient CD4+ T cells to determine (1) intrinsic and extrinsic CD4+ T-cell defects and (2) how defects account for the clinical features of DOCK8 deficiency.


We performed in-depth analysis of the CD4+ T-cell compartment of DOCK8-deficient patients. We enumerated subsets of CD4+ T helper cells and assessed cytokine production and transcription factor expression. Finally, we determined the levels of IgE specific for staple foods and house dust mite allergens in DOCK8-deficient patients and healthy control subjects.


DOCK8-deficient memory CD4+ T cells were biased toward a TH2 type, and this was at the expense of TH1 and TH17 cells.In vitropolarization of DOCK8-deficient naive CD4+ T cells revealed the TH2 bias and TH17 defect to be T-cell intrinsic. Examination of allergen-specific IgE revealed plasma IgE from DOCK8-deficient patients is directed against staple food antigens but not house dust mites.


Investigations into the DOCK8-deficient CD4+ T cells provided an explanation for some of the clinical features of this disorder: the TH2 bias is likely to contribute to atopic disease, whereas defects in TH1 and TH17 cells compromise antiviral and antifungal immunity, respectively, explaining the infectious susceptibility of DOCK8-deficient patients.

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