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Nat Immunol. 2013 Jul;14(7):741-8. doi: 10.1038/ni.2610. Epub 2013 May 19.

T cell regulation mediated by interaction of soluble CD52 with the inhibitory receptor Siglec-10.

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Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Australia.


Functionally diverse T cell populations interact to maintain homeostasis of the immune system. We found that human and mouse antigen-activated T cells with high expression of the lymphocyte surface marker CD52 suppressed other T cells. CD52(hi)CD4(+) T cells were distinct from CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. Their suppression was mediated by soluble CD52 released by phospholipase C. Soluble CD52 bound to the inhibitory receptor Siglec-10 and impaired phosphorylation of the T cell receptor-associated kinases Lck and Zap70 and T cell activation. Humans with type 1 diabetes had a lower frequency and diminished function of CD52(hi)CD4(+) T cells responsive to the autoantigen GAD65. In diabetes-prone mice of the nonobese diabetic (NOD) strain, transfer of lymphocyte populations depleted of CD52(hi) cells resulted in a substantially accelerated onset of diabetes. Our studies identify a ligand-receptor mechanism of T cell regulation that may protect humans and mice from autoimmune disease.

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