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Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 27;8(1):3674. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-21861-5.

FoxP3 isoforms and PD-1 expression by T regulatory cells in multiple sclerosis.

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Laboratory of Neuroimmunology, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, 00143, Italy.
Institute of Experimental Oncology and Endocrinology, National Research Council (IEOS-CNR), Treg Cell Lab, Naples, 80131, Italy.
Department of Neurosciences, San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Rome, 00152, Italy.
Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, 00189, Italy.
Laboratory of Neuroembryology, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, 00143, Italy.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Biotechnologies, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, 80131, Italy.
Laboratory of Neuroimmunology, Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, 00143, Italy.


Forkhead box P3 (FoxP3)+ regulatory T cells (Treg) are powerful mediators of immune regulation and immune homeostasis. In humans, Tregs are a heterogeneous population expressing surface markers which define phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets. Moreover, it is now clear that intracellular staining for FoxP3 does not unequivocally identify "true" suppressor cells, since several FoxP3 isoforms exist, and different reagents for FoxP3 detection are available. Here, we propose a strategy to identify potentially functional and suppressive Treg cells in an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis, and we suggest that in patients affected by this disease these cells are both reduced in number and functionally exhausted.

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