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J Immunol. 2006 Sep 15;177(6):3806-13.

Immature dendritic cells suppress collagen-induced arthritis by in vivo expansion of CD49b+ regulatory T cells.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Unité 475, Montpellier, France.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized APCs with an important role in the initiation and regulation of immune responses. Immature DCs (iDCs) reportedly mediate tolerance in the absence of maturation/inflammatory stimuli, presumably by the induction of regulatory T cells. In this study, we show for the first time that repetitive iDC injections trigger the expansion of a novel regulatory population with high immunomodulatory properties, able to protect mice from collagen-induced arthritis. These regulatory T cells are characterized by the expression of the CD49b molecule and correspond to a CD4+ alpha-galactosylceramide/CD1d-nonrestricted T cell population producing IL-10. Adoptive transfer of < 10(5) TCRbeta+ CD49b+ cells isolated from the liver of iDCs-vaccinated mice, conferred a complete protection against arthritis. This protection was associated with an attenuation of the B and T cell response associated with a local secretion of IL-10. Thus, together these data demonstrate that iDCs can expand and activate a novel regulatory population of CD49b+ T cells, with high immunosuppressive potential able to mediate protection against a systemic autoimmune disease.

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