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Blood. 2005 Aug 1;106(3):1008-11. Epub 2005 Apr 19.

CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells control the induction of antigen-specific CD4+ helper T cell responses in cancer patients.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, New York Branch at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, Box 32/Rm K-817, New York, NY 10021, USA.


A proportion of cancer patients naturally develop CD4+ T-helper type 1 (Th1) cell responses to NY-ESO-1 that correlate with anti-NY-ESO-1 serum antibodies. To address the role of T-cell regulation in the control of spontaneous tumor immunity, we analyzed NY-ESO-1-specific Th1 cell induction before or after depletion of CD4+CD25+ T cells in vitro. While Th1 cells were generated in the presence of CD25+ T cells in cancer patients seropositive for NY-ESO-1, seronegative cancer patients and healthy donors required CD25+ T-cell depletion for in vitro induction of NY-ESO-1-specific Th1 cells. In vitro, newly generated NY-ESO-1-specific Th1 cells were derived from naive precursors, whereas preexisting memory populations were detectable exclusively in patients with NY-ESO-1 antibody. Memory populations were less sensitive than naive populations to CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. We propose that CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells are involved in the generation and regulation of NY-ESO-1-specific antitumor immunity.

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