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The c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway has been implicated in the immune response that is mediated by the activation and differentiation of CD4 helper T (TH) cells into TH1 and TH2 effector cells. JNK activity observed in wild-type activated TH cells was severely reduced in TH cells fromJnk1 –/– mice. TheJnk1 –/– T cells hyperproliferated, exhibited decreased activation-induced cell death, and preferentially differentiated to TH2 cells. The enhanced production of TH2 cytokines by Jnk1 –/– cells was associated with increased nuclear accumulation of the transcription factor NFATc. Thus, the JNK1 signaling pathway plays a key role in T cell receptor–initiated TH cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation.