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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003 Apr;111(4):862-8.

Human CD4+CD25+ T cells derived from the majority of atopic donors are able to suppress TH1 and TH2 cytokine production.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Mainz, Mainz.



Recently, it has been established that CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells with regulatory capacity are present in human peripheral blood, inhibiting allogeneic proliferation and cytokine production of preactivated CD4(+)CD25(-) respond-er T cells.


The aim of this study was to analyze in an allergen-specific setting whether such regulatory CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells also exist and function normally in atopic individuals, especially concerning the inhibition of T(H)2 cytokines.


For this purpose, CD4(+)CD25(-) or CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells from donors allergic to grass or birch pollen (mainly with rhinitis) or from healthy nonatopic donors were stimulated in the presence of autologous, mature, monocyte-derived, allergen-pulsed dendritic cells, and the preactivated CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells were added to CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells during restimulation.


CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells from the nonatopic donors and from the majority of the patients investigated proliferated poorly, produced fewer cytokines, and inhibited the proliferation and T(H)1 (IFN-gamma) and T(H)2 (IL-4 and IL-5) cytokine production of CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells but not IL-10 production. The suppression of CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells by CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells was at least partially antigen unspecific and not reversible with anti-IL-10, anti-transforming growth factor beta, or anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 mAb but was reversible with IL-2. In some atopic patients preactivated CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells reproducibly showed strong proliferative responses, produced higher amounts of IL-4 and IL-10 than CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells, and suppressed only the IFN-gamma production of CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells.


These data indicate that regulatory CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells are present and functional in most atopic patients with allergic rhinitis and are able to inhibit T(H)1, as well as T(H)2, cytokine production.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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