Histone deacetylase 3 represses cholesterol efflux during CD4+ T-cell activation

Drew Wilfahrt, Rachael L. Philips, Jyoti Lama, Monika Kizerwetter, Michael Jeremy Shapiro, Shaylene A. McCue, Madeleine M. Kennedy, Matthew J. Rajcula, Hu Zeng, Virginia Smith Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


After antigenic activation, quiescent naive CD4+ T cells alter their metabolism to roliferate. This metabolic shift increases production of nucleotides, amino acids, fatty acids, and sterols. Here, we show that histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) is critical for activation of murine peripheral CD4+ T cells. HDAC3-deficient CD4+ T cells failed to proliferate and blast after in vitro TCR/CD28 stimulation. Upon T-cell activation, genes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis are upregulated while genes that promote cholesterol efflux are repressed. HDAC3-deficient CD4+ T cells had reduced levels of cellular cholesterol both before and after activation. HDAC3-deficient cells upregulate cholesterol synthesis appropriately after activation, but fail to repress cholesterol efflux; notably, they overexpress cholesterol efflux transporters ABCA1 and ABCG1. Repression of these genes is the primary function for HDAC3 in peripheral CD4+ T cells, as addition of exogenous cholesterol restored proliferative capacity. Collectively, these findings demonstrate HDAC3 is essential during CD4+ T-cell activation to repress cholesterol efflux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere70978
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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