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J Clin Invest. 2004 Dec;114(11):1640-9.

Regulatory T cells can migrate to follicles upon T cell activation and suppress GC-Th cells and GC-Th cell-driven B cell responses.

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Laboratory of Immunology and Hematopoiesis, Department of Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Invest. 2005 Jan;115(1):195.


How Tregs migrate to GCs, and whether they regulate the helper activity of the T cells in GCs (GC-Th cells) remains poorly understood. We found a T cell subset in human tonsils that displays potent suppressive activities toward GC-Th cell-dependent B cell responses. These Tregs with the surface phenotype of CD4+CD25+CD69- migrate well to CCL19, a chemokine expressed in the T cell zone, but poorly to CXCL13, a chemokine expressed in the B cell zone. This migration toward the T cell-rich zone rapidly changes to trafficking toward B cell follicles upon T cell activation. This change in chemotactic behavior upon activation of T cells is consistent with their switch in the expression of the 2 chemokine receptors CXCR5 and CCR7. CD4+CD25+CD69- Tregs suppress GC-Th cells and GC-Th cell-induced B cell responses such as Ig production, survival, and expression of activation-induced cytosine deaminase. Our results have identified a subset of Tregs that is physiologically relevant to GC-Th cell-dependent B cell responses and a potential regulation mechanism for the trafficking of these Tregs to GCs.

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