Zou T, Caton AJ, Koretzky GA, Kambayashi T
Dendritic cells induce regulatory T cell proliferation through antigen-dependent and -independent interactions.
J Immunol. 2010 Sep 1;185(5):2790-9
Authors: Zou T, Caton AJ, Koretzky GA, Kambayashi T
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a subset of T cells with suppressive function that protect the host from autoimmunity and prevent excessive immunopathology. Functional Tregs must be present throughout life to provide continuous protection for the host. Despite the intense study of this lineage, the mechanisms by which Tregs are maintained in the steady-state remain incompletely understood. In this study, we investigated the role of dendritic cells (DCs) in the control of Treg proliferation. In the absence of overt TCR stimulation, we found that DCs induce polyclonal Treg division in murine splenocyte cultures. In vivo expansion of DCs also correlated with polyclonal Treg expansion. DC-induced Treg division required IL-2, which was provided by conventional CD4(+) T cells through an MHC class II (MHC II)-dependent interaction with DCs. Provision of exogenous IL-2 obviated the need for conventional CD4(+) T cells in the induction of Treg proliferation, but this process still required a contact-dependent but MHC II-independent interaction between DCs and Tregs. Although Treg division could occur in the absence of MHC II expression by DCs, direct stimulation of Tregs by cognate Ag/MHC II complexes enhanced IL-2-induced Treg proliferation. These data demonstrate that DCs coordinate the interactions that are necessary to initiate polyclonal Treg proliferation.
PMID: 20686126 [PubMed - in process]