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Br J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jan;91(1):105-10. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Supplementation of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells suppresses experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Medical University, 6-7-1, Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan.



To investigate whether supplementation of natural CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells ameliorates mouse experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) induced by CD4+ T cell-dependent interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP).


C57BL/6 mice were immunised with human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein peptide 1-20 (IRBP(1-20)), and IRBP(1-20)-sensitised T cells were obtained. CD4+CD25+ T cells derived from naive mice were cocultured with IRBP(1-20)-sensitised T cells, and their proliferation responses and cytokine production were measured. In addition, CD4+CD25+ T cells were transferred intravenously into mice 7 or 15 days after immunisation with IRBP(1-20), and the severity of EAU and T cell proliferation responses were evaluated.


CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells effectively inhibited both the proliferation of, and interleukin (IL)2, IL5 and interferon (IFN)gamma production by, IRBP(1-20)-sensitised T cells. Adoptive transfer of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells to IRBP(1-20)-immunised mice conferred considerable protection from EAU development and inhibition of T cell proliferation responses to IRBP(1-20).


These findings show that natural CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells possess the ability to inhibit activation of IRBP-reactive T cells that have been already sensitised in vivo, and adoptive transfer of these cells ameliorates EAU even in the effector phase. Supplementation of natural CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells may have therapeutic potential for effective treatment of uveitis.

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