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J Immunol. 2004 Dec 1;173(11):6526-31.

Cutting edge: TGF-beta signaling is required for the in vivo expansion and immunosuppressive capacity of regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells.

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I. Medizinische Klinik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universit├Ąt, Mainz, Germany.


Data regarding the role of TGF-beta for the in vivo function of regulatory CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells (Treg) are controversial. A transgenic mouse model with impaired TGF-beta signaling specifically in T cells was used to assess the role of endogenous TGF-beta for the in vivo function of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg in a murine model of colitis induced by dextran sulfate. Transfer of wild-type, but not transgenic CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg was found to suppress colitis in wild-type mice. In addition, by transferring CFSE-labeled CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg we could demonstrate that endogenous TGF-beta promotes the expansion of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg in vivo. Transgenic mice themselves developed reduced numbers of peripheral CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg and were more susceptible to the induction of colitis, which could be prevented by the transfer of wild-type Treg. These data indicate that TGF-beta signaling in CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg is required for their in vivo expansion and suppressive capacity.

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