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Blood. 2007 Oct 1;110(7):2537-44. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

CD70+ non-Hodgkin lymphoma B cells induce Foxp3 expression and regulatory function in intratumoral CD4+CD25 T cells.

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  • 1Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Foxp3 expression was initially thought to be restricted to the CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T-cell population. However, recent studies suggest that forkhead box P3 (Foxp3) is expressed in CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells in aged mice. In the present study in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we found that a subset of intratumoral but not peripheral blood CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells, comprising about 15% of intratumoral CD4(+) T cells, express Foxp3 and are capable of suppressing the proliferation of autologous infiltrating CD8(+) T cells. In vitro activation with OKT3/anti-CD28 antibody (Ab) or dendritic cells (DCs) induced Foxp3 expression in a subset of these CD4(+)CD25(-)Foxp3(-) T cells. We found that the presence of lymphoma B cells during activation augmented activation-induced Foxp3 expression in CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. We also found that CD70(+) lymphoma B cells significantly contributed to the activation-induced Foxp3 expression in intratumoral CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. Furthermore, the blockade of CD27-CD70 interaction by anti-CD70 Ab abrogated lymphoma B-cell-mediated induction of Foxp3 expression in intratumoral CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. Taken together, these studies reveal a novel role for NHL B cells in the development of intratumoral regulatory T cells.

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