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Nat Med. 2002 Sep;8(9):1024-32. Epub 2002 Jul 29.

Antigen-specific regulatory T cells develop via the ICOS-ICOS-ligand pathway and inhibit allergen-induced airway hyperreactivity.

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1
Division of Immunology and Allergy, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.

Abstract

Asthma is caused by T-helper cell 2 (Th2)-driven immune responses, but the immunological mechanisms that protect against asthma development are poorly understood. T-cell tolerance, induced by respiratory exposure to allergen, can inhibit the development of airway hyperreactivity (AHR), a cardinal feature of asthma, and we show here that regulatory T (T(R)) cells can mediate this protective effect. Mature pulmonary dendritic cells in the bronchial lymph nodes of mice exposed to respiratory allergen induced the development of T(R) cells, in a process that required T-cell costimulation via the inducible costimulator (ICOS-ICOS-ligand pathway. The T(R) cells produced IL-10, and had potent inhibitory activity; when adoptively transferred into sensitized mice, T(R) cells blocked the development of AHR. Both the development and the inhibitory function of regulatory cells were dependent on the presence of IL-10 and on ICOS-ICOS-ligand interactions. These studies demonstrate that T(R) cells and the ICOS-ICOS-ligand signaling pathway are critically involved in respiratory tolerance and in downregulating pulmonary inflammation in asthma.

PMID:
12145647
DOI:
10.1038/nm745
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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