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J Immunol. 2006 Jul 1;177(1):246-54.

FOXP3+CD4+CD25+ adaptive regulatory T cells express cyclooxygenase-2 and suppress effector T cells by a prostaglandin E2-dependent mechanism.

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  • 1The Biotechnology Centre, Ullevaal University Hospital, University of Oslo, N-0317 Oslo, Norway.


CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (T(R)) cells suppress effector T cells by partly unknown mechanisms. In this study, we describe a population of human suppressive CD4+CD25+ adaptive T(R) (T(R)(adapt)) cells induced in vitro that express cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and the transcription factor FOXP3. T(R)(adapt) cells produce PGE(2) and suppress effector T cell responses in a manner that is reversed by COX inhibitors and PGE(2) receptor-specific antagonists. In resting CD4+CD25- T cells, treatment with PGE(2) induced FOXP3 expression. Thus, autocrine and paracrine effects of PGE(2) produced by COX-2-positive T(R)(adapt) cells may be responsible for both the FOXP3+ phenotype and the mechanism used by these cells to suppress effector T cells.

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