We have identified RORγt, a novel, thymus-specific isoform of the orphan nuclear receptor RORγ that is expressed predominantly in CD4+ CD8+ double-positive thymocytes. Ectopic expression of RORγt protects T cell hybridomas from activation-induced cell death by inhibiting the upregulation of Fas ligand. Following hybridoma stimulation, RORγt also inhibits IL-2 production but does not affect the induction of Nur-77 and Egr-3 nor the upregulation of CD69. Both the ligand-binding and DNA-binding domains of RORγt are required for this effect. We propose that the role of RORγt expression in immature thymocytes is to inhibit Fas ligand expression and cytokine secretion following engagement of their TCR during positive or negative selection.
He, Y. W., Deftos, M. L., Ojala, E. W., & Bevan, M. J. (1998). RORγt, a novel isoform of an orphan receptor, negatively regulates Fas ligand expression and IL-2 production in T cells. Immunity, 9(6), 797–806. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1074-7613(00)80645-7