Author(s): ScottBrowne JP, Shafiani S, TuckerHeard G, IshidaTsubota K, Fontenot JD,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) frequently establishes persistent infections that may be facilitated by mechanisms that dampen immunity. T regulatory (T reg) cells, a subset of CD4(+) T cells that are essential for preventing autoimmunity, can also suppress antimicrobial immune responses. We use Foxp3-GFP mice to track the activity of T reg cells after aerosol infection with Mtb. We report that during tuberculosis, T reg cells proliferate in the pulmonary lymph nodes (pLNs), change their cell surface phenotype, and accumulate in the pLNs and lung at a rate parallel to the accumulation of effector T cells. In the Mtb-infected lung, T reg cells accumulate in high numbers in all sites where CD4(+) T cells are found, including perivascular/peribronchiolar regions and within lymphoid aggregates of granulomas. To determine the role of T reg cells in the immune response to tuberculosis, we generated mixed bone marrow chimeric mice in which all cells capable of expressing Foxp3 expressed Thy1.1. When T reg cells were depleted by administration of anti-Thy1.1 before aerosol infection with Mtb, we observed approximately 1 log less of colony-forming units of Mtb in the lungs. Thus, after aerosol infection, T reg cells proliferate and accumulate at sites of infection, and have the capacity to suppress immune responses that contribute to the control of Mtb.
This article was published in J Exp Med
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology