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Eur J Immunol. 2009 Nov;39(11):3110-20. doi: 10.1002/eji.200939593.

Treg suppress CTL responses upon immunization with HSP gp96.

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CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, PR China.


HSP gp96-based vaccines have been trialled in rodent models and, more recently, in humans. Better understanding of gp96's immunomodulatory role will help with the design of more effective strategies for treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. In this study, we monitored the activities of T cells and activation of Treg in BABL/c mice after immunization using different doses of gp96 as adjuvant. We found that co-injection of gp96 simultaneously stimulated both CTL and Treg activity. Activation of CTL at low dose was far more pronounced than Treg activation. Treg population and suppression increased with gp96 dose, eventually abrogating the T-cell response induced by immunization. Low-dose cyclophosphamide treatment could restore the T-cell responses lost after high-dose gp96 adjuvant injection by suppression of Treg activation. We further examined the effect of different doses of gp96 or N355 peptide administration on tumor rejection. Our results provide new insights into the mechanisms of gp96-mediated balance between regulatory and responder T cells, which may facilitate future development of an effective gp96-based therapeutic vaccine.

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