Despite intense recent interest, the suppressive mechanisms of regulatory CD25+CD4 T cells remain poorly understood. One deficiency in the field is the lack of in vivo models where the effects of regulatory CD25+CD4 T cells on antigen-specific responder T cells can be measured quantitatively. We describe one such model here. We compared responses of adoptively transferred naive wild-type antigen-specific CD4 T cells in syngeneic CD28-/- and wild-type recipient mice toward a nominal antigen. The cells exhibited a greater degree of proliferation and differentiation in CD28-/- mice and could not be rendered functionally hyporesponsive by systemic exposure to adjuvant-free antigen. The only reason we were able to find to explain this difference was the deficiency of regulatory CD25+CD4 T cells in the CD28-/- mice. Use of CD28-/- mice as adoptive transfer recipients provides a simple model that reveals the contribution of regulatory CD25+CD4 T cells in controlling antigen-driven responses in vivo.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Marc Jenkins and Daniel Mueller for a critical review of the manuscript, and Kelly Podetz-Pedersen for technical assistance in maintaining the mouse colony. This work was supported by the NIH grant RO1-DK061961 to A.K.
- Cellular differentiation
- T lymphocytes