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Autoimmunity. 2011 Aug;44(5):406-14. doi: 10.3109/08916934.2010.536795. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

IL-2 production by dendritic cells promotes Foxp3(+) regulatory T-cell expansion in autoimmune-resistant NOD congenic mice.

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Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Medicine, FOCIS Center of Excellence, McGill University and Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Il2 allelic variation in non-obese diabetic mice imparts marked resistance to type 1 diabetes. IL-2 is pivotal for the fitness and homeostasis of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (T(reg)) cells, and the Idd3(B6) locus augments IL-2 production by effector T cells, which in turn enhances the potency of T(reg) cell functions. Given the important role dendritic cells (DCs) play in T(reg) cell-mediated tolerance induction, we hypothesized that DCs from Idd3(B6) congenic mice contribute to increased T(reg) cell activity. Here, we observed that CD11c(+) DCs, harboring protective Idd3(B6) genes, are endowed with the capacity to secrete IL-2, enabling them to preferentially promote T(reg) cell functions in vitro and in vivo. Our results show that Il2 gene variation may imprint DCs to favor T-cell regulation of autoimmunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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