Follicular regulatory T cells can be specific for the immunizing antigen and derive from naive T cells

Nat Commun. 2016 Jan 28;7:10579. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10579.

Abstract

T follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells are a subset of Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells that form in response to immunization or infection, which localize to the germinal centre where they control the magnitude of the response. Despite an increased interest in the role of Tfr cells in humoral immunity, many fundamental aspects of their biology remain unknown, including whether they recognize self- or foreign antigen. Here we show that Tfr cells can be specific for the immunizing antigen, irrespective of whether it is a self- or foreign antigen. We show that, in addition to developing from thymic derived Treg cells, Tfr cells can also arise from Foxp3(-) precursors in a PD-L1-dependent manner, if the adjuvant used is one that supports T-cell plasticity. These findings have important implications for Tfr cell biology and for improving vaccine efficacy by formulating vaccines that modify the Tfr:Tfh cell ratio.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B7-H1 Antigen / metabolism
  • Female
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*

Substances

  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Cd274 protein, mouse