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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Activation of CD8+ regulatory T cells by human placental trophoblasts.

The immunological basis by which a mother tolerates her semi-allogeneic fetus remains poorly understood. Several mechanisms are likely to contribute to this phenomenon including active immune regulation by regulatory T cells. In this article, we report that human placental trophoblasts activate a clonal population of CD8(+) T cells with regulatory function. These cells are not MHC class I restricted, but require costimulation through a member of the carcinoembryonic Ag family present on early gestation trophoblasts. These regulatory T cells express the mucosal markers CD101 and CD103 and display selective usage of the TCR gene Vbeta9. CD8(+) T cells isolated from the peripheral blood of pregnant mothers (16-28 wk) also demonstrate expansions in the same Vbeta family (Vbeta9), signaling a possible role for these cells in preventing fetal rejection in vivo. We have previously characterized a subset of CD8(+) regulatory T cells activated by the combination of the nonclassical class I molecule CD1d and a costimulatory molecule of the carcinoembryonic Ag family present on the intestinal epithelium. These data support the concept that distinct regulatory T cell populations exist at different sites and may be regulated locally by unique restriction elements, costimulatory signals, and Ags.[1]


  1. Activation of CD8+ regulatory T cells by human placental trophoblasts. Shao, L., Jacobs, A.R., Johnson, V.V., Mayer, L. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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