Integrin alpha-6 (CD49f) defines a novel and distinct subset of CD4+ regulatory T cells with potent suppression activity.
ABSTRACT: A common method used both in vitro and in vivo, to identify Tregs in CD4+ T cells is through the characterization of surface marker CD25. Although CD25 expression is well correlated with regulatory activity in vitro, CD4+CD25+ T cells are not the only regulatory CD4+ T cells in vivo. Studies suggest that in many situations, CD4+CD25– T cells are as effective as CD4+CD25+ T cells in controlling T cell mediated disease. Therefore, CD25 is not a uniquely specific cell surface marker for the identification of Tregs. CD49f is an α6-integrin subunit which dimerizes with either the β 1 or β 4 subunit to form receptors for various laminin isoforms. We found that CD4+ T cells from NOD mice express CD49f, and old non-diabetic NOD mice had an increase of CD4+CD49f+ T cells in the spleen and peripheral lymph node when compared to both young and diabetic mice. This study was conducted to further characterize CD4+CD49f+ Treg cell subpopulation in NOD mice. It was found that CD4+CD49f+T cells possess suppressive ability and only one third of CD4+CD49f+ T cells expressing CD25. Based on the expression of CD49f and CD25, CD4+ T cells was divided into four populations , CD25+CD49f+ ,CD25+CD49f- ,CD25-CD49f+ but CD25-CD49f- are of suppressive ability, and we further found that Foxp3 expression was highly correlated with the suppressive ability of these three Treg populations. In conclusion our data indicate that CD49f marks a CD4+ CD25+ Treg subset with more potent suppression activity and identifies a CD25-CD4+ T cell population with suppression function in a Foxp3+ expression dependent manner. Overall design: We divided CD4+ T cells into four populations: CD25+CD49f+, CD25+CD49f-, CD25-CD49f+, CD25-CD49f-; Microarray technology was used to determine gene expression differences among these four groups.
Project description:A common method used both in vitro and in vivo, to identify Tregs in CD4+ T cells is through the characterization of surface marker CD25. Although CD25 expression is well correlated with regulatory activity in vitro, CD4+CD25+ T cells are not the only regulatory CD4+ T cells in vivo. Studies suggest that in many situations, CD4+CD25– T cells are as effective as CD4+CD25+ T cells in controlling T cell mediated disease. Therefore, CD25 is not a uniquely specific cell surface marker for the identification of Tregs. CD49f is an α6-integrin subunit which dimerizes with either the β 1 or β 4 subunit to form receptors for various laminin isoforms. We found that CD4+ T cells from NOD mice express CD49f, and old non-diabetic NOD mice had an increase of CD4+CD49f+ T cells in the spleen and peripheral lymph node when compared to both young and diabetic mice. This study was conducted to further characterize CD4+CD49f+ Treg cell subpopulation in NOD mice. It was found that CD4+CD49f+T cells possess suppressive ability and only one third of CD4+CD49f+ T cells expressing CD25. Based on the expression of CD49f and CD25, CD4+ T cells was divided into four populations , CD25+CD49f+ ,CD25+CD49f- ,CD25-CD49f+ but CD25-CD49f- are of suppressive ability, and we further found that Foxp3 expression was highly correlated with the suppressive ability of these three Treg populations. In conclusion our data indicate that CD49f marks a CD4+ CD25+ Treg subset with more potent suppression activity and identifies a CD25-CD4+ T cell population with suppression function in a Foxp3+ expression dependent manner. We divided CD4+ T cells into four populations: CD25+CD49f+, CD25+CD49f-, CD25-CD49f+, CD25-CD49f-; Microarray technology was used to determine gene expression differences among these four groups.
Project description:CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential for maintaining self-tolerance and immune homeostasis. Here we characterize a novel subset of CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs that express latency-associated peptide (LAP) on their cell surface (CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(+) cells). CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(+) cells express elevated levels of Foxp3 and Treg-associated molecules (CTLA4, glucocorticoid-induced TNFR-related gene), secrete TGFbeta, and express both cell surface TGFbeta and surface receptors for TGFbeta. In vitro, the suppressive function of CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(+) cells is both cell contact and soluble factor dependent; this contrasts with CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(-) cells, which are mainly cell contact dependent. In a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(+) cells exhibit more potent suppressive activity than CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(-) cells, and the suppression is TGFbeta dependent. We further show that CD4(+)CD25(+)LAP(+) cells suppress myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-specific immune responses by inducing Foxp3 and by inhibiting IL-17 production. Our findings demonstrate that CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs are a heterogeneous population and that the CD4(+)CD25(+) subset that expresses LAP functions in a TGFbeta-dependent manner and has greater in vivo suppressive properties. Our work helps elucidate the ambiguity concerning the role of TGFbeta in CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg-mediated suppression and indicates that LAP is an authentic marker able to identify a TGFbeta-expressing CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg subset.
Project description:Application of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in transplantation, autoimmunity and allergy has been extensively explored, but how Foxp3 and Treg stability is regulated in vivo is incompletely understood. Here, we identify a requirement for Deltex1 (DTX1), a contributor to T-cell anergy and Foxp3 protein level maintenance in vivo. Dtx1(-/-) Tregs are as effective as WT Tregs in the inhibition of CD4(+)CD25(-) T-cell activation in vitro. However, the suppressive ability of Dtx1(-/-) Tregs is greatly impaired in vivo. We find that Foxp3 expression is diminished when Dtx1(-/-) Tregs are co-transferred with effector T cells in vivo. DTX1 promotes the degradation of HIF-1?. Knockout of HIF-1? restores the Foxp3 stability and rescues the defective suppressive activity in Dtx1(-/-) Treg cells in vivo. Our results suggest that DTX1 exerts another level of control on Treg stability in vivo by sustaining the expression of Foxp3 protein in Tregs.
Project description:Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are functionally suppressive CD4 T cells, critical for establishing peripheral tolerance and controlling inflammatory responses. Previous reports of Tregs during chronic HIV disease have conflicting results with higher or lower levels compared with controls. Identifying true Tregs with suppressive activity proves challenging during HIV infection, as traditional Treg markers, CD25 and FOXP3, may transiently upregulate expression as a result of immune activation (IA). Helios is an Ikaros family transcription factor that marks natural Tregs with suppressive activity and does not upregulate expression after activation. Coexpression of FOXP3 and Helios has been suggested as a highly specific marker of "bona fide" Tregs. We evaluated Treg subsets by FOXP3 coexpressed with either CD25 or Helios and their association with HIV disease progression in perinatally infected HIV-positive children. Identifying Tregs by FOXP3 coexpression with Helios rather than CD25 revealed markedly higher Treg frequencies, particularly in HIV+ children. Regardless of antiretroviral therapy, HIV-infected children had a selective expansion of memory FOXP3+Helios+ Tregs. The rise in memory Tregs correlated with declining HIV clinical status, indicated by falling CD4 percentages and CD4:CD8 ratios and increasing HIV plasma viremia and IA. In addition, untreated HIV+ children exhibited an imbalance between the levels of Tregs and activated T cells. Finally, memory Tregs expressed IA markers CD38 and Ki67 and exhaustion marker, PD-1, that tightly correlated with a similar phenotype in memory CD4 T cells. Overall, HIV-infected children had significant disruptions of memory Tregs that associated with advancing HIV disease.
Project description:CD4+CD25+ T-regulatory cells (Tregs) play an essential role in maintaining immunologic homeostasis and preventing autoimmunity. However, little is known about the exogenous factors that regulate their differentiation and function. Here, we report that TNF inhibits the suppressive function of both naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ Tregs and TGFbeta1-induced CD4+CD25+ T-regulatory cells. The mechanism of this inhibition involves signaling through TNFRII that is constitutively expressed selectively on unstimulated Tregs and that is up-regulated by TNF. TNF-mediated inhibition of suppressive function is related to a decrease in FoxP3 mRNA and protein expression by the Tregs. Notably, CD4+CD25hi Tregs isolated from patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) expressed reduced levels of FoxP3 mRNA and protein and poorly suppressed the proliferation and cytokine secretion of CD4+ effector T cells in vitro. Treatment with anti-TNF antibody (infliximab) increased FOXP3 mRNA and protein expression by CD4+CD25hi Tregs and restored their suppressive function. Thus, TNF has a novel action in modulating autoimmunity, by inhibiting CD4+CD25+ Treg activity.
Project description:CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) accumulate in bone marrow microenvironment in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, little is known about how the tumor environment including tumor cells themselves affects this process. Here we demonstrated that AML cells expressed inducible T-cell costimulator ligand (ICOSL) that can provide costimulation through ICOS for the conversion and expansion of Tregs sustaining high Foxp3 and CD25 expression as well as a suppressive function. TNF-a stimulation up-regulated the expression of ICOSL. Furthermore, both the conversion and expansion of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells and CD4+ICOS+Foxp3+ T cells were induced by co-culture with AML cells overexpressed ICOSL. CD4+CD25+ICOS+ T cells possessed stronger ability to secrete IL-10 than CD4+CD25+ICOS- T cells. The mechanism by which IL-10 promoted the proliferation of AML cells was dependent on the activation of the Akt, Erk1/2, p38, and Stat3 signaling pathways. Blockade of ICOS signaling using anti-ICOSL antibody impaired the generation of Tregs and retarded the progression of an AML mice model injected with C1498 cells. The expression of ICOSL of patient AML cells and ICOS+ Tregs were found to be predictors for overall survival and disease-free survival in patients with AML, with ICOS+ Treg cell subset being a stronger predictor than total Tregs. These results suggest that ICOSL expression by AML cells may directly drive Treg expansion as a mechanism of immune evasion and ICOS+ Treg cell frequency is a better prognostic predictor in patients with AML.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Naturally occurring thymus derived regulatory T cells (Tregs) are central in the maintenance of self-tolerance. The transcription factor FOXP3 is crucial for the suppressive activity of Tregs and is considered the most specific marker for this population. However, human non regulatory T cells upregulate FOXP3 transiently upon activation which calls for other means to identify the Treg population. Since epigenetic mechanisms are involved in the establishment of stable gene expression patterns during cell differentiation, we hypothesized that the methylation profile of the FOXP3 promoter would allow the distinction of truly committed Tregs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Human CD4(+)CD25(hi) Tregs displayed a demethylated FOXP3 promoter (1.4%+/-0.95% SEM methylated) in contrast to CD4(+)CD25(lo) T cells which were partially methylated (27.9%+/-7.1%). Furthermore, stimulated CD4(+)CD25(lo) T cells transiently expressed FOXP3 but remained partially methylated, suggesting promoter methylation as a mechanism for regulation of stable FOXP3 expression and Treg commitment. In addition, transient FOXP3 expressing cells exhibited suppressive abilities that correlate to the methylation status of the FOXP3 promoter. As an alternative to bisulphite sequencing, we present a restriction enzyme based screening method for the identification of committed Tregs and apply this method to evaluate the effect of various culturing conditions. We show that a partial demethylation occurs in long-term cultures after activation, whereas the addition of TGF-beta and/or IL-10 does not induce any additional change in methylation level. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The unique FOXP3 promoter methylation profile in Tregs suggests that a demethylated pattern is a prerequisite for stable FOXP3 expression and suppressive phenotype. Presently, FOXP3 is used to identify Tregs in several human diseases and there are future implications for adoptive Treg transfer in immunotherapy. In these settings there is a need to distinguish true Tregs from transiently FOXP3(+) activated T cells. The screening method we present allows this distinction and enables the identification of cells suitable for in vitro expansions and clinical use.
Project description:Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) originate in the thymus, but the Treg phenotype can also be induced in peripheral lymphoid organs or in vitro by stimulation of conventional CD4(+) T cells with IL-2 and TGF-?. There have been divergent reports on the suppressive capacity of these TGF-Treg cells. We find that TGF-Tregs derived from diabetes-prone NOD mice, although expressing normal Foxp3 levels, are uniquely defective in suppressive activity, whereas TGF-Tregs from control strains (B6g7) or ex vivo Tregs from NOD mice all function normally. Most Treg-typical transcripts were shared by NOD or B6g7 TGF-Tregs, except for a small group of differentially expressed genes, including genes relevant for suppressive activity (Lrrc32, Ctla4, and Cd73). Many of these transcripts form a coregulated cluster in a broader analysis of T-cell differentiation. The defect does not map to idd3 or idd5 regions. Whereas Treg cells from NOD mice are normal in spleen and lymph nodes, the NOD defect is observed in locations that have been tied to pathogenesis of diabetes (small intestine lamina propria and pancreatic lymph node). Thus, a genetic defect uniquely affects a specific Treg subpopulation in NOD mice, in a manner consistent with a role in determining diabetes susceptibility.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Upon antigen exposure, cord blood derived T cells respond to ubiquitous environmental antigens by high proliferation. To date it remains unclear whether these "excessive" responses relate to different regulatory properties of the putative T regulatory cell (Treg) compartment or even expansion of the Treg compartment itself. METHODS: Cord blood (>37 week of gestation) and peripheral blood (healthy controls) were obtained and different Treg cell subsets were isolated. The suppressive potential of Treg populations after antigen exposure was evaluated via functional inhibition assays ([(3)H]thymidine incorporation assay and CFSE staining) with or without allergen stimulation. The frequency and markers of CD4(+)CD25(high)FoxP3(+) T cells were characterized by mRNA analysis and flow cytometry. RESULTS: Cord blood derived CD4(+)CD25(high) cells did not show substantial suppressor capacity upon TCR activation, in contrast to CD4(+)CD25(high) cells freshly purified from adult blood. This could not be explained by a lower frequency of FoxP3(+)CD4(+)CD25(high)cells or FOXP3 mRNA expression. However, after antigen-specific stimulation in vitro, these cells showed strong proliferation and expansion and gained potent suppressive properties. The efficiency of their suppressive capacity can be enhanced in the presence of endotoxins. If T-cells were sorted according to their CD127 expression, a tiny subset of Treg cells (CD4(+)CD25(+)CD127(low)) is highly suppressive even without prior antigen exposure. CONCLUSION: Cord blood harbors a very small subset of CD4(+)CD25(high) Treg cells that requires antigen-stimulation to show expansion and become functional suppressive Tregs.
Project description:The inflammatory response is prominent in the pathogenesis of dermal leishmaniasis. We hypothesized that regulatory T cells (Tregs) may be diminished in chronic dermal leishmaniasis (CDL) and contribute to healing during treatment.The frequency and functional capacity of Tregs were evaluated at diagnosis and following treatment of CDL patients having lesions of ?6 months duration and asymptomatically infected residents of endemic foci. The frequency of CD4(+)CD25(hi) cells expressing Foxp3 or GITR or lacking expression of CD127 in peripheral blood was determined by flow cytometry. The capacity of CD4(+)CD25(+) cells to inhibit Leishmania-specific responses was determined by co-culture with effector CD4(+)CD25(-) cells. The expression of FOXP3, IFNG, IL10 and IDO was determined in lesion and leishmanin skin test site biopsies by qRT-PCR. Although CDL patients presented higher frequency of CD4(+)CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) cells in peripheral blood and higher expression of FOXP3 at leishmanin skin test sites, their CD4(+)CD25(+) cells were significantly less capable of suppressing antigen specific-IFN-? secretion by effector cells compared with asymptomatically infected individuals. At the end of treatment, both the frequency of CD4(+)CD25(hi)CD127(-) cells and their capacity to inhibit proliferation and IFN-? secretion increased and coincided with healing of cutaneous lesions. IDO was downregulated during healing of lesions and its expression was positively correlated with IFNG but not FOXP3.The disparity between CD25(hi)Foxp3(+) CD4 T cell frequency in peripheral blood, Foxp3 expression at the site of cutaneous responses to leishmanin, and suppressive capacity provides evidence of impaired Treg function in the pathogenesis of CDL. Moreover, the concurrence of increased Leishmania-specific suppressive capacity with induction of a CD25(hi)CD127(-) subset of CD4 T cells during healing supports the participation of Tregs in the resolution of chronic dermal lesions. Treg subsets may therefore be relevant in designing immunotherapeutic strategies for recalcitrant dermal leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania (Viannia) species.