Regulatory T Cells Reversibly Suppress Cytotoxic T Cell Function Independent of Effector Differentiation
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Mempel, Thorsten R.
Pittet, Mikael J.
von Boehmer, Harald
von Andrian, Ulrich H.
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CitationMempel, Thorsten R., Mikael J. Pittet, Khashayarsha Khazaie, Wolfgang Weninger, Ralph Weissleder, Harald von Boehmer, and Ulrich H. von Andrian. 2006. “Regulatory T Cells Reversibly Suppress Cytotoxic T Cell Function Independent of Effector Differentiation.” Immunity 25 (1): 129–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2006.04.015.
AbstractMechanisms of dominant tolerance have evolved within the mammalian immune system to prevent inappropriate immune responses. CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (T-reg) cells have emerged as central constituents of this suppressive activity. By using multiphoton intravital microscopy in lymph nodes (LNs) of anesthetized mice, we have analyzed how cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) interact with antigen-presenting target cells in the presence or absence of activated T-reg cells. Nonregulated CTLs killed their targets at a 6.6-fold faster rate than regulated CTLs. In spite of this compromised effector activity, regulated CTLs exhibited no defect in proliferation, induction of cytotoxic effector molecules and secretory granules, in situ motility, or ability to form antigen-dependent conjugates with target cells. Only granule exocytosis by CTLs was markedly impaired in the presence of T-reg cells. This selective form of regulation did not require prolonged contact between CTLs and T-reg cells but depended on CTL responsiveness to transforming growth factor-beta. CTLs quickly regained full killing capacity in LNs upon selective removal of T-reg cells. Thus, T-reg cells reversibly suppress CTL-mediated immunity by allowing acquisition of full effector potential but withholding the license to kill.
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