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J Immunol. 2001 Aug 1;167(3):1137-40.

Cutting edge: control of CD8+ T cell activation by CD4+CD25+ immunoregulatory cells.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells inhibit organ-specific autoimmune diseases induced by CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells and are potent suppressors of CD4(+)CD25(-) T cell activation in vitro. We demonstrate that CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells also suppress both proliferation and IFN-gamma production by CD8(+) T cells induced either by polyclonal or Ag-specific stimuli. CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells inhibit the activation of CD8(+) responders by inhibiting both IL-2 production and up-regulation of IL-2Ralpha-chain (CD25) expression. Suppression is mediated via a T-T interaction as activated CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells suppress the responses of TCR-transgenic CD8(+) T cells stimulated with soluble peptide-MHC class I tetramers in the complete absence of APC. These results broaden the immunoregulatory role played by CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells in the prevention of autoimmune diseases, but also raise the possibility that they may hinder the induction of effector CD8(+) T cells to tumor or foreign Ags.

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