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J Exp Med. 2004 Nov 1;200(9):1123-34.

Essential roles of CD8+CD122+ regulatory T cells in the maintenance of T cell homeostasis.

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Dept. of Immunology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai-cho, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.


Regulation of immune system is of paramount importance to prevent immune attacks against self-components. Mice deficient in the interleukin (IL)-2/IL-15 receptor beta chain, CD122, are model animals of such immune attacks and characteristically have a high number of abnormally activated T cells. Here, we show that the transfer of CD8+CD122+ cells into CD122-deficient neonates totally prevented the development of abnormal T cells. Furthermore, recombination activating gene-2-/- mice that received wild-type mice-derived CD8+CD122- cells died within 10 wk after cell transfer, indicating that normal CD8+CD122- cells become dangerously activated T cells in the absence of CD8+CD122+ T cells. CD8+CD122+ cells could control activated CD8+ or CD4+ T cells both in vivo and in vitro. Our results indicate that the CD8+CD122+ population includes naturally occurring CD8+ regulatory T cells that control potentially dangerous T cells.

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