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Shock. 2013 Jul;40(1):65-73. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e318296e65b.

CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells attenuate lipopolysaccharide-induced systemic inflammatory responses and promotes survival in murine Escherichia coli infection.

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Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


It is well established that CD4CD25 regulatory T cells (Tregs) downregulate inflammatory immune responses and help to maintain immune homeostasis. Recent reports have shown that ligation of germline encoded pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors can stimulate Tregs and therefore implicate Tregs in the pathophysiology of sepsis and other inflammatory diseases. In this report, we show that injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) leads to expansion of CD4CD25FoxP3 Tregs, suggesting that these cells may play an important role in immune regulation in LPS-induced acute inflammation. Indeed, genetic or immunological inhibition of Treg function using mice lacking functional Tregs (CD25 KO mice) or anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody (anti-CD25 mAb), respectively, led to acute death in an otherwise nonlethal LPS challenge. This was accompanied by exaggerated production of proinflammatory cytokines. Strikingly, adoptive transfer of CD4CD25 Tregs to CD25 KO mice before LPS challenge rescues mice from death. Unlike LPS, depletion of Tregs followed by concanavalin A (Con A) challenge does not result in mortality, suggesting that Treg depletion does not globally influence all models of acute inflammation. We authenticate our findings by showing that depletion of Tregs leads to mortality in a nonlethal Escherichia coli challenge accompanied by elevated serum levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Collectively, our results indicate that in addition to regulation of LPS-induced acute inflammation, Tregs help to improve bacterial clearance and promote survival in an acute model of bacterial infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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