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J Immunol. 2010 Nov 1;185(9):5003-10. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903446. Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Tolerogenic dendritic cells induce CD4+CD25hiFoxp3+ regulatory T cell differentiation from CD4+CD25-/loFoxp3- effector T cells.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Microbiology, of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


IL-10-differentiated dendritic cells (DC10) induce allergen tolerance in asthmatic mice, during which their lung Th2 effector T cells (Teffs) are displaced by activated CD4(+)CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) T cells. Intestinal DCs promote oral tolerance by inducing Ag-naive T cells to differentiate into CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs), but whether DCs can induce Teffs to differentiate into Tregs remains uncertain. In this study, we addressed this question in OVA-asthmatic mice that were treated with DC10. OVA-presenting DC10 treatment maximally activated lung Tregs in these animals at 3 wk posttreatment, as determined by upregulation of activation markers (ICOS, programmed cell death-1, glucocorticoid-induced TNFR-related protein, LAG3, and CTLA-4) and in functional assays. This in vitro regulatory activity was ≥90% reduced by treatment with anti-IL-10 but not anti-TGF-β Abs. In parallel cultures, OVA- but not house dust mite (HDM)-presenting DC10 induced ≈43% of CFSE-labeled CD25(-/lo)Foxp3(-) Teffs from asthmatic OVA-TCR transgenic mice to differentiate into tolerogenic CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) Tregs. We recapitulated this in vivo using OVA-asthmatic mice that were coinjected with OVA- or HDM-presenting DC10 (i.p.) and CFSE-labeled CD4(+)CD25(-/lo)Foxp3(-) Teffs (i.v.) from the lungs of asthmatic DO11.10 mice. From ≈7 to 21% of the activated (i.e., dividing) DO11.10 Teffs that were recovered from the lungs, lung-draining lymph nodes, or spleens of the OVA-DC10 recipients had differentiated into CD4(+)CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) Tregs, whereas no CFSE-positive Tregs were recovered from the HDM-DC10-treated animals. These data indicate that DC10 treatments induce tolerance at least in part by inducing Teffs to differentiate into CD4(+)CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) Tregs.

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