Treg cells mediate recovery from EAE by controlling effector T cell proliferation and motility in the CNS

Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014 Dec 5;2:163. doi: 10.1186/s40478-014-0163-1.


Regulatory T cells are crucial in controlling various functions of effector T cells during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. While regulatory T cells are reported to exert their immunomodulatory effects in the peripheral immune organs, their role within the central nervous system (CNS) during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis is unclear. Here, by combining a selectively timed regulatory T cells depletion with 2-photon microscopy, we report that regulatory T cells exercise their dynamic control over effector T cells in the CNS. Acute depletion of regulatory T cells exacerbated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis severity which was accompanied by increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production and proliferation of effector T cells. Intravital microscopy revealed that, in the absence of regulatory T cells, the velocity of effector T cells was decreased with simultaneous increase in the proportion of stationary phase cells in the CNS. Based on these data, we conclude that regulatory T cells mediate recovery from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by controlling cytokine production, proliferation and motility of effector T cells in the CNS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology*
  • Cell Separation
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / physiology*


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-2