The costimulatory requirements required for peripheral blood T regulatory cells (Tregs) are unclear. Using cell-based artificial APCs we found that CD28 but not ICOS, OX40, 4-1BB, CD27, or CD40 ligand costimulation maintained high levels of Foxp3 expression and in vitro suppressive function. Only CD28 costimulation in the presence of rapamycin consistently generated Tregs that consistently suppressed xenogeneic graft-vs-host disease in immunodeficient mice. Restimulation of Tregs after 8-12 days of culture with CD28 costimulation in the presence of rapamycin resulted in >1000-fold expansion of Tregs in <3 wk. Next, we determined whether other costimulatory pathways could augment the replicative potential of CD28-costimulated Tregs. We observed that while OX40 costimulation augmented the proliferative capacity of CD28-costimulated Tregs, Foxp3 expression and suppressive function were diminished. These studies indicate that the costimulatory requirements for expanding Tregs differ from those for T effector cells and, furthermore, they extend findings from mouse Tregs to demonstrate that human postthymic Tregs require CD28 costimulation to expand and maintain potent suppressive function in vivo.