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J Immunol. 2006 Apr 15;176(8):4730-9.

Adaptive islet-specific regulatory CD4 T cells control autoimmune diabetes and mediate the disappearance of pathogenic Th1 cells in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, San Diego, CA 92131, USA.

Abstract

Adaptive regulatory T cells that develop from naive CD4 cells in response to exposure to Ag can act as immunotherapeutic agents to control immune responses. We show that effectors generated from murine islet-specific CD4 cells by TCR stimulation with IL-2 and TGF-beta1 have potent suppressive activity. They prevent spontaneous development of type 1 diabetes in NOD mice and inhibit development of pancreatic infiltrates and disease onset orchestrated by Th1 effectors. These regulatory T cells do not require innate CD25+ regulatory cells for generation or function, nor do they share some characteristics typically associated with them, including expression of CD25. However, the adaptive population does acquire the X-linked forkhead/winged helix transcription factor, FoxP3, which is associated with regulatory T cell function and maintains expression in vivo. One mechanism by which they may inhibit Th1 cells is via FasL-dependent cytotoxicity, which occurs in vitro. In vivo, they eliminate Th1 cells in lymphoid tissues, where Fas/FasL interactions potentially play a role because Th1 cells persist when this pathway is blocked. The results suggest that adaptive regulatory CD4 cells may control diabetes in part by impairing the survival of islet-specific Th1 cells, and thereby inhibiting the localization and response of autoaggressive T cells in the pancreatic islets.

PMID:
16585566
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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