Phenotypic characterisation of regulatory T cells in dogs reveals signature transcripts conserved in humans and mice

Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 17;9(1):13478. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50065-8.


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are a double-edged regulator of the immune system. Aberrations of Tregs correlate with pathogenesis of inflammatory, autoimmune and neoplastic disorders. Phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets of Tregs have been identified in humans and mice on the basis of their extensive portfolios of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against Treg surface antigens. As an important veterinary species, dogs are increasingly recognised as an excellent model for many human diseases. However, insightful study of canine Tregs has been restrained by the limited availability of mAb. We therefore set out to characterise CD4+CD25high T cells isolated ex vivo from healthy dogs and showed that they possess a regulatory phenotype, function, and transcriptomic signature that resembles those of human and murine Tregs. By launching a cross-species comparison, we unveiled a conserved transcriptomic signature of Tregs and identified that transcript hip1 may have implications in Treg function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Biomarkers
  • Conserved Sequence*
  • Dogs
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome*


  • Antigens, Surface
  • Biomarkers