CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells down-regulate co-stimulatory molecules on antigen-presenting cells

Eur J Immunol. 2000 Jun;30(6):1538-43. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200006)30:6<1538::AID-IMMU1538>3.0.CO;2-X.


CD4+CD25+ T cells have been shown to inhibit experimentally induced organ-specific autoimmune disease and depletion of these regulatory T cells from normal mice results in development of such conditions. Furthermore, CD4+CD25+ T cells suppress the IL-2 production and thereby the proliferation of polyclonally activated CD4+CD25- T cells in vitro. The suppression in vitro is independent of secreted factors but requires interactions between CD4+CD25- and CD4+CD25+ T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APC). We have now further investigated the function of CD4+CD25+ T cells in vitro and have focused on their interactions with APC. We found that CD4+CD25+ T cells down-regulated the expression of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 on dendritic cells. The steady-state level of CD80 mRNA was also decreased, while the steady-state level of CD86 mRNA was not, suggesting that distinct mechanisms regulate the expression of these molecules. The down-regulation occurred even in the presence of stimuli that would normally increase the expression of CD80 and CD86 molecules. Thus, down-regulation of co-stimulatory molecules may be an additional effector function of these regulatory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B7-1 Antigen / biosynthesis*
  • B7-1 Antigen / genetics
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2*


  • Antigens, CD
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • B7-2 Antigen
  • Cd86 protein, mouse
  • Cd86 protein, rat
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2