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Nat Immunol. 2007 Dec;8(12):1380-9. Epub 2007 Nov 11.

A dominant function for interleukin 27 in generating interleukin 10-producing anti-inflammatory T cells.

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  • 1Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Regulatory T cells (T(reg) cells) expressing the transcription factor Foxp3 are key in maintaining the balance of immune homeostasis. However, distinct induced T regulatory type 1 (Tr1) cells that lack Foxp3 expression also regulate T cell function, mainly by producing the immunosuppressive cytokine interleukin 10 (IL-10). However, the factors required for the induction of IL-10-producing suppressive T cells are not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that dendritic cells modified by T(reg) cells induced the generation of IL-10-producing Tr1 cells. The differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells into IL-10-producing cells was mediated by IL-27 produced by the T(reg) cell-modified dendritic cells, and transforming growth factor-beta amplified the generation of induced IL-10+ Tr1 cells by IL-27. Thus, IL-27 and transforming growth factor-beta promote the generation of IL-10-producing Tr1 cells.

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