A novel human CD4+ T-cell inducer subset with potent immunostimulatory properties

Eur J Immunol. 2010 Jan;40(1):134-41. doi: 10.1002/eji.200939258.


The complexity of immunoregulation has focused attention on the CD4+ T "suppressor" regulatory cell (Treg), which helps maintain balance between immunity and tolerance. An immunoregulatory T-cell population that upon activation amplifies cellular immune responses was described in murine models more than 30 years ago; however, no study has yet identified a naturally occurring T "inducer" cell type. Here, we report that the ectoenzyme CD39/NTPDase1 (ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 1) helps to delineate a novel population of human "inducer" CD4+ T cells (Tind) that significantly increases the proliferation and cytokine production of responder T cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, this unique Tind subset produces a distinct repertoire of cytokines in comparison to the other CD4+ T-cell subsets. We propose that this novel CD4+ T-cell population counterbalances the suppressive activity of suppressor Treg in peripheral blood and serves as a calibrator of immunoregulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • Apyrase / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Humans
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cytokines
  • Apyrase
  • CD39 antigen