Induction of CD8+ regulatory T cells in the intestine by Heligmosomoides polygyrus infection

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Aug;291(2):G253-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00409.2005.


This study determined whether Heligmosomoides polygyrus induces intestinal regulatory T cells. Splenic T cells proliferate strongly when cultured with anti-CD3 and antigen-presenting cells (APC). Lamina propria T cells from mice with H. polygyrus mixed with normal splenic T cells from uninfected mice inhibited proliferation over 90%. Lamina propria T cells from mice without H. polygyrus only modestly affected T cell proliferation. The worm-induced regulatory T cell was CD8+ and required splenic T cell contact to inhibit proliferation. The regulation also was IL-10 independent, but TAP-dependent, suggesting that it requires major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I interaction. Additional studies employed mice with transgenic T cells that did not express functional TGF-beta receptors. The lamina propria T regulator inhibited proliferation of these transgenic T cells nearly 100%, suggesting that TGF-beta signaling via the T cell was not required. CD8+ T cells were needed for worms to reverse piroxicam-induced colitis in Rag mice (T and B cell deficient) reconstituted with IL-10-/- T cells. Thus H. polygyrus induces a regulatory CD8+ lamina propria T cell that inhibits T cell proliferation and that appears to have a role in control of colitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Colitis / immunology*
  • Colitis / parasitology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / parasitology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nematospiroides dubius*
  • Strongylida Infections / immunology*
  • Strongylida Infections / pathology*