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Clin Dev Immunol. 2008;2008:305859. doi: 10.1155/2008/305859.

Comparative study of regulatory T cell function of human CD25CD4 T cells from thymocytes, cord blood, and adult peripheral blood.

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Division of Clinical Immunology, Advanced Clinical Research Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells suppress T cell activation and regulate multiple immune reactions in in vitro and in vivo studies. To define the regulatory function of human CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells at various stages of maturity, we investigated in detail the functional differences of CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells from thymocytes, cord blood (CB), and adult peripheral blood (APB). CB CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells displayed low-FOXP3 protein expression level and had no suppressive activity. In contrast, CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells from thymocytes or APB expressed high expression level of FOXP3 protein associated with significant suppressive activity. Although CB CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells exhibited no suppressive activity, striking suppressive activity was observed following expansion in culture associated with increased FOXP3 expression and a shift from the CD45RA(+) to the CD45RA(-) phenotype. These functional differences in CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells from Thy, CB, and APB hence suggest a pathway of maturation for Treg in the peripheral immune system.

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