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J Immunol. 2004 Mar 1;172(5):2778-84.

CD86 and CD80 differentially modulate the suppressive function of human regulatory T cells.

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Medical Research Council Center for Immune Regulation, University of Birmingham Medical School, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Regulatory T cells (Treg) are important in maintaining tolerance to self tissues. As both CD28 and CTLA-4 molecules are implicated in the function of Treg, we investigated the ability of their two natural ligands, CD80 and CD86, to influence the Treg-suppressive capacity. During T cell responses to alloantigens expressed on dendritic cells, we observed that Abs against CD86 potently enhanced suppression by CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg. In contrast, blocking CD80 enhanced proliferative responses by impairing Treg suppression. Intriguingly, the relative expression levels of CD80 and CD86 on dendritic cells are modulated during progression from an immature to a mature state, and this correlates with the ability of Treg to suppress responses. Our data show that CD80 and CD86 have opposing functions through CD28 and CTLA-4 on Treg, an observation that has significant implications for manipulation of immune responses and tolerance in vivo.

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