CD4 T cell activation by myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein is suppressed by adult but not cord blood CD25+ T cells

Eur J Immunol. 2003 Mar;33(3):579-87. doi: 10.1002/eji.200323701.


Regulatory T cells expressing CD25 have been shown to protect rodents from organ-specific autoimmune diseases. Similar CD25+ cells with a memory phenotype exerting suppressive function after polyclonal or allogeneic stimulation are also present in adult human blood. We demonstrate that adult human CD25+ cells regulate the response to myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), as depletion of CD25(+) cells increases responses of PBMC and the addition of purified CD25+ cells suppresses MOG-specific proliferation and IFN-gamma production of CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. In contrast, cord blood CD25+ cells do not inhibit responses to self antigens, and only a small subpopulation of cord CD25+ cells expresses the typical phenotype of adult regulatory T cells (CD45RA(-) and GITR(+)) enabling suppression of polyclonal responses. We conclude that activation of self-reactive T cells in normal healthy individuals is prevented by the presence of self-antigen-specific CD25+ regulatory T cells and that the majority of these cells mature after birth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fetal Blood / immunology*
  • Glucocorticoid-Induced TNFR-Related Protein
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / immunology*
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis*
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor / analysis
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / analysis
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / physiology*


  • Glucocorticoid-Induced TNFR-Related Protein
  • MOG protein, human
  • Myelin Proteins
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein
  • Myelin-Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Nerve Growth Factor
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • TNFRSF18 protein, human