Editors' ChoiceImmunology

T Regulation of Dendritic Cells

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Science Signaling  14 Oct 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 41, pp. ec358
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.141ec358

Regulatory T cells act as dampeners in the immune system to prevent overproduction of reactive immune cells and risk of autoimmune disease. T regulatory cells usually inhibit expression of two cell surface proteins on dendritic cells, CD80 and CD86, which present foreign antigens to the immune system. Wing et al. (see the Perspective by Shevach) report that, in mice, CTLA-4, a protein normally necessary for the T regulatory cells to suppress overactivation of dendritic cells, was required to suppress expression of CD80 and CD86. When levels of CTLA-4 were reduced, CD80 and CD86 expression was increased and the dendritic antigen-presenting cells overstimulated other immune cells, resulting in lymphoproliferation, autoimmune disease, and hyperproduction of IgE. At the same time, these mice develop immunity toward tumors. Thus, CTLA-4 in regulatory T cells is responsible for their suppression of dendritic cells and consequently their role in immune system homeostasis.

K. Wing, Y. Onishi, P. Prieto-Martin, T. Yamaguchi, M. Miyara, Z. Fehervari, T. Nomura, S. Sakaguchi, CTLA-4 control over Foxp3+ regulatory T cell function. Science 322, 271-275 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

E. M. Shevach, Regulating suppression. Science 322, 202-203 (2008). [Summary] [Full Text]

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