Regulatory T cells in spontaneous autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Authors

  • Gláucia De Camargo Furtado,

    1. Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA
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  • Danyvid Olivares-Villagómez,

    1. Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA
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    • * Current address: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

  • Maria A. Curotto de Lafaille,

    1. Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA
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  • Allen K. Wensky,

    1. Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA
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  • Jo-Ann Latkowski,

    1. Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA
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  • Juan J. Lafaille

    Corresponding author
    1. Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA
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Correspondence to: Juan J. Lafaille
Program of Molecular Pathogenesis
Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine and Department of Pathology
New York University School of Medicine
540 First Ave
New York NY 10016
USA
Fax: 1 212 263 5711
e-mail: lafaille@saturn.med.nyu.edu

Abstract

Summary: Spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) develops in 100% of mice harboring a monoclonal myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific CD4+αβ T-cell repertoire. Monoclonality of the αβ T-cell repertoire can be achieved by crossing MBP-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mice with either RAG−/− mice or TCR α−/−/TCR β−/− double knockout mice. Spontaneous EAE can be prevented by a single administration of purified CD4+ splenocytes or thymocytes obtained from wild-type syngeneic mice. The regulatory T cells (T-reg) that protect from spontaneous EAE need not express the CD25 marker, as effective protection can be attained with populations depleted of CD25+ T cells. Although the specificity of the regulatory T cells is important for their generation or regulatory function, T cells that protect from spontaneous EAE can have a diverse TCR α and β chain composition. T-reg cells expand poorly in vivo, and appear to be long lived. Finally, precursors for T-reg are present in fetal liver as well as in the bone marrow of aging mice. We propose that protection of healthy individuals from autoimmune diseases involves several layers of regulation, which consist of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells, CD4+CD25 T-reg cells, and anti-TCR T cells, with each layer potentially operating at different stages of T-helper cell-mediated immune responses.

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