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Nat Immunol. 2003 Apr;4(4):330-6. Epub 2003 Mar 3.

Foxp3 programs the development and function of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Box 357370, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

Abstract

CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells are essential for the active suppression of autoimmunity. Here we report that the forkhead transcription factor Foxp3 is specifically expressed in CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells and is required for their development. The lethal autoimmune syndrome observed in Foxp3-mutant scurfy mice and Foxp3-null mice results from a CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell deficiency and not from a cell-intrinsic defect of CD4+CD25- T cells. CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells rescue disease development and preferentially expand when transferred into neonatal Foxp3-deficient mice. Furthermore, ectopic expression of Foxp3 confers suppressor function on peripheral CD4+CD25- T cells. Thus, Foxp3 is a critical regulator of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell development and function.

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PMID:
12612578
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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