Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Immunol. 2014 Sep;44(9):2703-2711. doi: 10.1002/eji.201344392. Epub 2014 Jun 16.

Enhanced suppressor function of TIM-3+ FoxP3+ regulatory T cells.

Author information

Departments of Neurology and Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520.
Contributed equally


T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (TIM-3) is an Ig-superfamily member expressed on IFN-γ-secreting Th1 and Tc1 cells and was identified as a negative regulator of immune tolerance. TIM-3 is expressed by a subset of activated CD4(+) T cells, and anti-CD3/anti-CD28 stimulation increases both the level of expression and the number of TIM-3(+) T cells. In mice, TIM-3 is constitutively expressed on natural regulatory T (Treg) cells and has been identified as a regulatory molecule of alloimmunity through its ability to modulate CD4(+) T-cell differentiation. Here, we examined TIM-3 expression on human Treg cells to determine its role in T-cell suppression. In contrast to mice, TIM-3 is not expressed on Treg cells ex vivo but is upregulated after activation. While TIM-3(+) Treg cells with increased gene expression of LAG3, CTLA4, and FOXP3 are highly efficient suppressors of effector T (Teff) cells, TIM-3(-) Treg cells poorly suppressed Th17 cells as compared with their suppression of Th1 cells; this decreased suppression ability was associated with decreased STAT-3 expression and phosphorylation and reduced gene expression of IL10, EBI3, GZMB, PRF1, IL1Rα, and CCR6. Thus, our results suggest that TIM-3 expression on Treg cells identifies a population highly effective in inhibiting pathogenic Th1- and Th17-cell responses.


FoxP3; Regulatory T (Treg) cells; TIM-3; Th17

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center