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J Immunol. 2004 Jul 15;173(2):1224-31.

CD25+CD4+ cells contribute to Th2 polarization during helminth infection by suppressing Th1 response development.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Mice infected with Schistosoma mansoni develop polarized Th2 responses in which Th1 responses are prevented by IL-10-mediated suppression of IL-12 production. We show that dendritic cells from infected mice are primed to make IL-12 in response to CD40 ligation, and that IL-10 acts by inhibiting this process. In infected mice, two subpopulations of CD4(+) cells, separable by their expression of CD25, make IL-10. CD25(+)CD4(+) cells expressed forkhead box P3, inhibited proliferation of CD4(+) T cells, and made IL-10, but little IL-5. In contrast, CD25(-)CD4(+) cells failed to express forkhead box P3 or to inhibit proliferation and accounted for all the IL-5, IL-6, and IL-13 produced by unseparated splenic populations. Thus, CD25(+) and CD25(-) subpopulations could be characterized as regulatory T cells (Treg cells) and Th2 cells, respectively. Consistent with their ability to make IL-10, both CD25(+) and CD25(-)CD4(+) T cells from infected mice were able, when stimulated with egg Ag, to suppress IL-12 production by CD40 agonist-stimulated dendritic cells. Additionally, in adoptive transfer experiments, both CD4(+) subpopulations of cells were able to partially inhibit the development of Th1 responses in egg-immunized IL-10(-/-) mice. The relationship of Treg cells in infected mice to natural Treg cells was strongly suggested by the ability of CD25(+)CD4(+) cells from naive mice to inhibit Th1 response development when transferred into egg-immunized or infected IL-10(-/-) mice. The data suggest that natural Treg cells and, to a lesser extent, Th2 cells play roles in suppressing Th1 responses and ensuring Th2 polarization during schistosomiasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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