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Efficient generation of human alloantigen-specific CD4+ regulatory T cells from naive precursors by CD40-activated B cells.


ABSTRACT: CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Treg) play an important role in the induction and maintenance of immune tolerance. Although adoptive transfer of bulk populations of Treg can prevent or treat T cell-mediated inflammatory diseases and transplant allograft rejection in animal models, optimal Treg immunotherapy in humans would ideally use antigen-specific rather than polyclonal Treg for greater specificity of regulation and avoidance of general suppression. However, no robust approaches have been reported for the generation of human antigen-specific Treg at a practical scale for clinical use. Here, we report a simple and cost-effective novel method to rapidly induce and expand large numbers of functional human alloantigen-specific Treg from antigenically naive precursors in vitro using allogeneic nontransformed B cells as stimulators. By this approach naive CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells could be expanded 8-fold into alloantigen-specific Treg after 3 weeks of culture without any exogenous cytokines. The induced alloantigen-specific Treg were CD45RO(+)CCR7(-) memory cells, and had a CD4(high), CD25(+), Foxp3(+), and CD62L (L-selectin)(+) phenotype. Although these CD4(high)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) alloantigen-specific Treg had no cytotoxic capacity, their suppressive function was cell-cell contact dependent and partially relied on cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 expression. This approach may accelerate the clinical application of Treg-based immunotherapy in transplantation and autoimmune diseases.

SUBMITTER: Tu W 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2532818 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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