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Comparative Study
, 166 (9), 5530-9

IFN-alpha and IL-10 Induce the Differentiation of Human Type 1 T Regulatory Cells

Comparative Study

IFN-alpha and IL-10 Induce the Differentiation of Human Type 1 T Regulatory Cells

M K Levings et al. J Immunol.


CD4(+) T regulatory type 1 (Tr1) cells suppress Ag-specific immune responses in vitro and in vivo. Although IL-10 is critical for the differentiation of Tr1 cells, the effects of other cytokines on differentiation of naive T cells into Tr1 cells have not been investigated. Here we demonstrate that endogenous or exogenous IL-10 in combination with IFN-alpha, but not TGF-beta, induces naive CD4(+) T cells derived from cord blood to differentiate into Tr1 cells: IL-10(+)IFN-gamma(+)IL-2(-/low)IL-4(-). Naive CD4(+) T cells derived from peripheral blood require both exogenous IL-10 and IFN-alpha for Tr1 cell differentiation. The proliferative responses of the Tr1-containing lymphocyte populations, following activation with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 mAbs, were reduced. Similarly, cultures containing Tr1 cells displayed reduced responses to alloantigens via a mechanism that was partially mediated by IL-10 and TGF-beta. More importantly, Tr1-containing populations strongly suppressed responses of naive T cells to alloantigens. Collectively, these results show that IFN-alpha strongly enhances IL-10-induced differentiation of functional Tr1 cells, which represents a first major step in establishing specific culture conditions to generate T regulatory cells for biological and biochemical analysis, and for cellular therapy to induce peripheral tolerance in humans.

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