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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Aug;32(8):2365-75.

CD4+CD25+ T cells as immunoregulatory T cells in vitro.

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MRC Transplantation Biology Group, Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, GB, UK.


We have further characterized the in vitro phenotype and function of anergic and suppressive CD4(+)25(+) T cells. Following TCR ligation, DO.11.10 CD4(+)25(+) T cells suppress the activation of OT-1 CD8(+)25(-) T cells in an antigen nonspecific manner. Although suppression was seen when using a mixture of APC from both parental strains, it was very much more marked when using F1 APC. APC pretreated with, and then separated from CD4(+)25(+) T cells did not have diminished T cell costimulatory function, suggesting that APC are not the direct targets of CD4(+)25(+) T cell regulation. CTLA-4 blockade failed to abrogate suppression by CD4(+)25(+) T cells in mixing experiments. Although CD4(+)25(+) T cells failed to respond following cross-linking of TCR, they could be induced to proliferate following the addition of exogenous IL-2, allowing the generation of a T cell line from CD4(+)25(+) T cells. After the first in vitro restimulation, CD4(+)25(+) T cells were still anergic and suppressive following TCR engagement. However, after three rounds of restimulation, their anergic and suppressive status was abrogated.

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