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J Immunol. 2005 Nov 1;175(9):5601-5.

Cutting edge: CpG oligonucleotides induce splenic CD19+ dendritic cells to acquire potent indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-dependent T cell regulatory functions via IFN Type 1 signaling.

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Immunotherapy Center, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.


CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODNs) stimulate innate and adaptive immunity by binding to TLR9 molecules. Paradoxically, expression of the immunoregulatory enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is induced following i.v. CpG-ODN administration to mice. CpG-ODNs induced selective IDO expression by a minor population of splenic CD19+ dendritic cells (DCs) that did not express the plasmacytoid DC marker 120G8. Following CpG-ODN treatment, CD19+ DCs acquired potent IDO-dependent T cell suppressive functions. Signaling through IFN type I receptors was essential for IDO up-regulation, and CpG-ODNs induced selective activation of STAT-1 in CD19+ DCs. Thus, CpG-ODNs delivered systemically at relatively high doses elicited potent T cell regulatory responses by acting on a discrete, minor population of splenic DCs. The ability of CpG-ODNs to induce both stimulatory and regulatory responses offers novel opportunities for using them as immunomodulatory reagents but may complicate therapeutic use of CpG-ODNs to stimulate antitumor immunity in cancer patients.

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