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J Immunol. 2003 Apr 15;170(8):3939-43.

Cutting edge: cure of colitis by CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells.

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  • 1Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.


CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells have been shown to prevent T cell-mediated immune pathology; however, their ability to ameliorate established inflammation has not been tested. Using the CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cell transfer model of inflammatory bowel disease, we show that CD4(+)CD25(+) but not CD4(+)CD25(-)CD45RB(low) T cells are able to cure intestinal inflammation. Transfer of CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells into mice with colitis led to resolution of the lamina propria infiltrate in the intestine and reappearance of normal intestinal architecture. CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells were found to proliferate in the mesenteric lymph nodes and inflamed colon. They were located between clusters of CD11c(+) cells and pathogenic T cells and found to be in contact with both cell types. These studies suggest that manipulation of CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.

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