Background: The NFAT family transcription factors play crucial roles in T cell functions. Recently, NFAT has been implicated in the production of an inflammatory cytokine, IL-17A; however, functional differences among NFAT members in IL-17A synthesis have not been elucidated. In this study, the relative contribution of NFAT1 and NFAT2 to IL-17A expression in human T cells was investigated. Methods: NFAT1 and NFAT2 were introduced in human cord blood CD4+ T cells by a lentiviral transduction system. Then, the expression of IL-17A mRNA was determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. The transient effects of NFAT1 and NFAT2 on IL-17A expression in Jurkat-Tag cells were also investigated. Results: Stimulation-induced expression of IL-17A in human CD4+ T cells was augmented by the introduction of NFAT1 and more vigorously, NFAT2. IL-17A expression in Jurkat-Tag cells was also enhanced by NFAT1, whereas it was not affected by NFAT2. Conclusion: NFAT1 and NFAT2 facilitated IL-17A expression in human T cells, though distinct mechanisms might be involved in these effects.

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