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J Exp Med. 2005 Jun 6;201(11):1793-803.

Coexpression of CD25 and CD27 identifies FoxP3+ regulatory T cells in inflamed synovia.

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1
Institute for Research in Biomedicine, CH-6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland.

Abstract

A better understanding of the role of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in disease pathogenesis should follow from the discovery of reliable markers capable of discriminating regulatory from activated T cells. We report that the CD4+CD25+ population in synovial fluid of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients comprises both regulatory and effector T cells that can be distinguished by expression of CD27. CD4+CD25+CD27+ cells expressed high amounts of FoxP3 (43% of them being FoxP3+), did not produce interleukin (IL)-2, interferon-gamma, or tumor necrosis factor, and suppressed T cell proliferation in vitro, being, on a per cell basis, fourfold more potent than the corresponding peripheral blood population. In contrast, CD4+CD25+CD27- cells expressed low amounts of FoxP3, produced effector cytokines and did not suppress T cell proliferation. After in vitro activation and expansion, regulatory but not conventional T cells maintained high expression of CD27. IL-7 and IL-15 were found to be present in synovial fluid of JIA patients and, when added in vitro, abrogated the suppressive activity of regulatory T cells. Together, these results demonstrate that, when used in conjunction with CD25, CD27 is a useful marker to distinguish regulatory from effector T cells in inflamed tissues and suggest that at these sites IL-7 and IL-15 may interfere with regulatory T cell function.

PMID:
15939793
PMCID:
PMC2213274
DOI:
10.1084/jem.20050085
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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