Author(s): Xystrakis E, Dejean AS, Bernard I, Druet P, Liblau R,
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Abstract The immune system contains natural regulatory T cells that control the magnitude of the immune response during physiologic and pathologic conditions. Although this suppressive function was historically attributed to CD8 T cells, most recent reports have focused on natural regulatory CD4 T cells. In the present study, we describe a new subset of natural CD8 regulatory T cells in normal healthy animals. This subset expresses low levels of CD45RC at its surface (CD45RC(low)); produces mainly interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-10, and IL-13 cytokines upon in vitro stimulation; expresses Foxp3 and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4); and is not cytotoxic against allogeneic targets. This subset suppresses the proliferation and differentiation of autologous CD4 T cells into type-1 cytokines producing T cells after stimulation with allogeneic accessory cells. We also provide evidence that this regulatory subset mediates its suppression by cell-to-cell contact and not through secretion of suppressive cytokines. Finally, the regulatory activity of CD8 CD45RC(low) cells is also demonstrated in vivo in a rat model of CD4-dependent graft-versus-host disease. Collectively, these data demonstrate for the first time that freshly isolated rat CD8 CD45RC(low) T cells contain T cells with regulatory properties, a result that enlarges the general picture of T-cell-mediated regulation.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy