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J Immunol. 2003 Aug 15;171(4):1652-5.

Cutting edge: induced indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase expression in dendritic cell subsets suppresses T cell clonal expansion.

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Department of Medicine, Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.


In mice, immunoregulatory APCs express the dendritic cell (DC) marker CD11c, and one or more distinctive markers (CD8alpha, B220, DX5). In this study, we show that expression of the tryptophan-degrading enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) is selectively induced in specific splenic DC subsets when mice were exposed to the synthetic immunomodulatory reagent CTLA4-Ig. CTLA4-Ig did not induce IDO expression in macrophages or lymphoid cells. Induction of IDO completely blocked clonal expansion of T cells from TCR transgenic mice following adoptive transfer, whereas CTLA4-Ig treatment did not block T cell clonal expansion in IDO-deficient recipients. Thus, IDO expression is an inducible feature of specific subsets of DCs, and provides a potential mechanistic explanation for their T cell regulatory properties.

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