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Nat Immunol. 2010 Dec;11(12):1093-101. doi: 10.1038/ni.1952. Epub 2010 Oct 17.

IL-35-mediated induction of a potent regulatory T cell population.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


Regulatory T cells (T(reg) cells) have a critical role in the maintenance of immunological self-tolerance. Here we show that treatment of naive human or mouse T cells with IL-35 induced a regulatory population, which we call 'iT(R)35 cells', that mediated suppression via IL-35 but not via the inhibitory cytokines IL-10 or transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). We found that iT(R)35 cells did not express or require the transcription factor Foxp3, and were strongly suppressive and stable in vivo. T(reg) cells induced the generation of iT(R)35 cells in an IL-35- and IL-10-dependent manner in vitro and induced their generation in vivo under inflammatory conditions in intestines infected with Trichuris muris and within the tumor microenvironment (B16 melanoma and MC38 colorectal adenocarcinoma), where they contributed to the regulatory milieu. Thus, iT(R)35 cells constitute a key mediator of infectious tolerance and contribute to T(reg) cell-mediated tumor progression. Furthermore, iT(R)35 cells generated ex vivo might have therapeutic utility.

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