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J Immunol. 2004 May 15;172(10):6123-8.

Human CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells share equally complex and comparable repertoires with CD4+CD25- counterparts.

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  • 1Division of Stem Cell Transplantation, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

Abstract

CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells are critical mediators of peripheral immune tolerance. However, many developmental and functional characteristics of these cells are unknown, and knowledge of human regulatory T cells is particularly limited. To better understand how human CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells develop and function, we examined the diversity of CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD4(+)CD25(-) T cell repertoires in both thymus and peripheral blood. Levels of T receptor excision circles (TREC) were comparable in purified CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD4(+)CD25(-) thymic populations, but were significantly higher than those in samples derived from peripheral blood, consistent with murine studies demonstrating thymic development of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells. Surprisingly, CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells isolated from peripheral blood had greater TREC quantities than their CD4(+)CD25(+) counterparts, supporting the possibility of extrathymic expansion as well. CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells from a given individual showed overlapping profiles with respect to diversity by Vbeta staining and spectratyping. Interestingly, CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells have lower quantities of CD3 than CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. Collectively, these data suggest that human CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells recognize a similar array of Ags as CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. However, reduced levels of TCR on regulatory T cells suggest different requirements for activation and may contribute to how the immune system regulates whether a particular response is suppressed or augmented.

PMID:
15128798
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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