Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The autoimmune regulator (Aire) controls iNKT cell development and maturation

A Retraction to this article was published on 01 September 2006


The mechanism underlying the autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type-1 (APS1) has been attributed to defective T-cell negative selection resulting from reduced expression and presentation of autoantigens in thymic medullary epithelial cells (MECs). It has also been postulated that Aire is involved in development of regulatory T cells, although supporting evidence is lacking. Here we show that expression of Aire in MECs is required for development of iNKT cells, suggesting a role for iNKT cells in APS1. NOTE: We are retracting this report as it contains several errors, including duplications and manipulations of some flow cytometry plots in Figure 1a and in Supplementary Figure 2 online, incorrect juxtaposition of data in Figure 1g (spleen) that in fact derive from different experiments, and inaccurate reporting of the absolute number of iNKT cells and s.d. values, even though the statistical significance remains unchanged. Although original data exist for each figure that largely support the conclusions drawn, we believe that the number of figures affected means that the appropriate response is to retract this paper.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The number of iNKT cells is reduced in Aire-deficient mice.
Figure 2: iNKT cell development and maturation are impaired in Aire-deficient mice.


  1. Ruan, Q.G. & She, J.X. Clin. Lab. Med. 24, 305–317 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Anderson, M.S. et al. Science 298, 1395–1401 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Kuroda, N. et al. J. Immunol. 174, 1862–1870 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ramsey, C. et al. Hum. Mol. Genet. 11, 397–409 (2002).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Liston, A. et al. Nat. Immunol. 4, 350–354 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Anderson, M.S. et al. Immunity 23, 227–239 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Mathis, D. & Benoist, C. Immunity 20, 509–516 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Matsuda, J.L. & Gapin, L. Curr. Opin. Immunol. 17, 122–130 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Mi, Q.S. et al. Diabetes 53, 1303–1310 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Sivakumar, V. et al. J. Exp. Med. 197, 1613–1621 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Wagner, M.J. et al. J. Immunol. 174, 6764–6771 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Heino, M. et al. Eur. J. Immunol. 30, 1884–1893 (2000).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Zhou, D. et al. Science 306, 1786–1789 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Wei, D.G. et al. J. Exp. Med. 202, 239–248 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Chin, R.K. et al. Nat. Immunol. 4, 1121–1127 (2003).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank R. Brutkiewicz and K. Hayakawa for the gifts of NKT cell lines, L. Peltonen for providing the initial Aire−/− mice and Kirin Brewery Pharmaceutical Co. for α-GalCer. We acknowledge H. He for his assistance with artwork. This work was supported in part by grants from the American Diabetes Association (to Q.-S.M.), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (to Q.-S.M.), the US National Institutes of Health (to J.-X.S.) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (to T.L.D.).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Qing-Sheng Mi or Jin-Xiong She.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Fig. 1

The number of iNKT cells is reduced in NOD. Aire-deficient mice. (PDF 134 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 2

Percentages of CD4, CD8, iNKT and NK cells in Aire-deficient mice. (PDF 1100 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 3

Autoantibodies in bone marrow recipient mice. (PDF 627 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 4

Gene expression analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. (PDF 539 kb)

Supplementary Methods (PDF 141 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mi, QS., Deng, ZB., Joshi, S. et al. The autoimmune regulator (Aire) controls iNKT cell development and maturation. Nat Med 12, 624–626 (2006).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing