cell activity, clonal anergy, dendritic cell, lymphocyte proliferation, interleukin 2 receptor, T lymphocyte
An important pathway for immune tolerance is provided by thymic-derived CD25+ CD4+ T cells that suppress other CD25- autoimmune disease-inducing T cells. The antigen-presenting cell (APC) requirements for the control of CD25+ CD4+ suppressor T cells remain to be identified, hampering their study in experimental and clinical situations. CD25+ CD4+ T cells are classically anergic, unable to proliferate in response to mitogenic antibodies to the T cell receptor complex. We now find that CD25+ CD4+ T cells can proliferate in the absence of added cytokines in culture and in vivo when stimulated by antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DCs), especially mature DCs. With high doses of DCs in culture, CD25+ CD4+ and CD25- CD4+ populations initially proliferate to a comparable extent. With current methods, one third of the antigen-reactive T cell receptor transgenic T cells enter into cycle for an average of three divisions in 3 d. The expansion of CD25+ CD4+ T cells stops by day 5, in the absence or presence of exogenous interleukin (IL)-2, whereas CD25- CD4+ T cells continue to grow. CD25 + CD4+ T cell growth requires DC-T cell contact and is partially dependent upon the production of small amounts of IL-2 by the T cells and B7 costimulation by the DCs. After antigen-specific expansion, the CD25 + CD4+ T cells retain their known surface features and actively suppress CD25- CD4+ T cell proliferation to splenic APCs. DCs also can expand CD25+ CD4+ T cells in the absence of specific antigen but in the presence of exogenous IL-2. In vivo, both steady state and mature antigen-processing DCs induce proliferation of adoptively transferred CD25+ CD4+ T cells. The capacity to expand CD25+ CD4+ T cells provides DCs with an additional mechanism to regulate autoimmunity and other immune responses.
Yamazaki, S., T. Iyoda, K. Tarbell, K. Olson, K. Velinzon, K. Inaba, and R. M. Steinman. 2003. "Direct Expansion of Functional CD25+ CD4+ Regulatory T Cells by Antigen-Processing Dendritic Cells." Journal of Experimental Medicine 198 (2): 235-247