GABAergic neuronal IL-4R mediates T cell effect on memory

Jasmin Herz, Zhongxiao Fu, Kyungdeok Kim, Taitea Dykstra, Morgan Wall, Huiping Li, Andrea Francesca Salvador, Bende Zou, Ni Yan, Susan M. Blackburn, Patrick H. Andrews, Dylan H. Goldman, Zachary Papadopoulos, Igor Smirnov, Xinmin S. Xie, Jonathan Kipnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Mechanisms governing how immune cells and their derived molecules impact homeostatic brain function are still poorly understood. Here, we elucidate neuronal mechanisms underlying T cell effects on synaptic function and episodic memory. Depletion of CD4 T cells led to memory deficits and impaired long-term potentiation. Severe combined immune-deficient mice exhibited amnesia, which was reversible by repopulation with T cells from wild-type but not from IL-4-knockout mice. Behaviors impacted by T cells were mediated via IL-4 receptors expressed on neurons. Exploration of snRNA-seq of neurons participating in memory processing provided insights into synaptic organization and plasticity-associated pathways regulated by immune cells. IL-4Rα knockout in inhibitory (but not in excitatory) neurons was sufficient to impair contextual fear memory, and snRNA-seq from these mice pointed to IL-4-driven regulation of synaptic function in promoting memory. These findings provide new insights into complex neuroimmune interactions at the transcriptional and functional levels in neurons under physiological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3609-3618.e9
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 17 2021


  • IL-4
  • T cells
  • learning and memory
  • meninges
  • neuroimmunology


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