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Peripheral tolerance prevents the initiation of damaging immune responses by autoreactive lymphocytes. While tolerogenic mechanisms are tightly regulated by antigen-dependent and independent signals, downstream pathways are incompletely understood. N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), an anti-cancer therapeutic target, has previously been implicated as a CD4+ T cell clonal anergy factor. By RNA-sequencing, we identified Ndrg1 as the third most upregulated gene in anergic, compared to naïve follicular, B cells. Ndrg1 is upregulated by B cell receptor activation (signal one) and suppressed by co-stimulation (signal two), suggesting that NDRG1 may be important in B cell tolerance. However, though Ndrg1-/- mice have a neurological defect mimicking NDRG1-associated Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT4d) disease, primary and secondary immune responses were normal. We find that B cell tolerance is maintained, and NDRG1 does not play a role in downstream responses during re-stimulation of in vivo antigen-experienced CD4+ T cells, demonstrating that NDGR1 is functionally redundant for lymphocyte anergy.

Original publication




Journal article


Commun Biol

Publication Date





Mice, Animals, T-Lymphocytes, Refsum Disease, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, Immune Tolerance, Lymphocyte Activation