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J Immunol. 2011 Jan 1;186(1):41-52. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000800. Epub 2010 Nov 22.

CD8+CD122+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and CD4+ Tregs cooperatively prevent and cure CD4+ cell-induced colitis.

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Department of Immunology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.


We identified CD8(+)CD122(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) and demonstrated their importance in the maintenance of immune homeostasis and in the recovery from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In this paper, we show that CD8(+)CD122(+) Tregs effectively prevent and cure colitis in a mouse model. In our experiments, colitis was induced in lymphocyte-deficient RAG-2(-/-) mice by transferring CD4(+)CD45RB(high) cells that were excluded with CD4(+) Tregs. Cotransfer of CD8(+)CD122(+) cells clearly suppressed the development of colitis, and this suppressive effect was similar to that of CD4(+)CD45RB(low) cells that were mostly CD4(+) Tregs. CD8(+)CD122(+) cells obtained from IL-10(-/-) mice were unable to suppress colitis, indicating that IL-10 is an important effect-transmitting factor in the suppression of colitis. CD8(+)CD122(+) cells showed a suppressive effect when they were transferred 4 wk after CD4(+)CD45RB(high) cells, indicating the therapeutic potential of CD8(+)CD122(+) cells. A mixture of CD8(+)CD122(+) cells and CD4(+)CD45RB(low) cells was far more effective than single Tregs, indicating the synergistic effect of these Tregs. These overall findings demonstrate the potential role of CD8(+) Tregs, and possibly together with CD4(+) Tregs, in the medical care of inflammatory bowel disease patients.

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