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

Regulatory T cells modulate Th2 responses induced by Brugia pahangi third-stage larvae.

Infection of BALB/c mice with Brugia pahangi third-stage larvae (L3) results in the production of interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-10 with a resultant down-regulation in Th1 responses. Previously, this was thought to reflect a skewing of immune responses towards a Th2 phenotype by the infective stage of the parasite. In this study, we show that exposure to the L3 of Brugia also induces the expansion of a population of CD4 cells that express CD25 and cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 in an IL-4-independent fashion. By quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we show that the CD25+ population is highly enriched in mRNA for the Foxp3 transcription factor and that these cells express significantly more IL-10 mRNA than the CD25- population, suggesting a likely regulatory phenotype. The functional capacity of these cells was demonstrated using a neutralizing CD25 monoclonal antibody (MAb). Mice treated with this MAb demonstrated elevated levels of antigen (Ag)-specific proliferation in vitro, and levels of Ag-specific Th2 cytokines were significantly increased. These results suggest a complex network of regulation in L3-infected mice with Th2 cells limiting the Th1 response, while T-regulatory cells modulate Th2 responses.[1]


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