Regulatory T Cell Numbers in Inflamed Skin Are Controlled by Local Inflammatory Cues That Upregulate CD25 and Facilitate Antigen-Driven Local Proliferation.

Academic Article


  • CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are key immune suppressors that regulate immunity in diverse tissues. The tissue and/or inflammatory signals that influence the magnitude of the Treg response remain unclear. To define signals that promote Treg accumulation, we developed a simple system of skin inflammation using defined Ags and adjuvants that induce distinct cytokine milieus: OVA protein in CFA, aluminum salts (Alum), and Schistosoma mansoni eggs (Sm Egg). Polyclonal and Ag-specific Treg accumulation in the skin differed significantly between adjuvants. CFA and Alum led to robust Treg accumulation, with >50% of all skin CD4(+) T cells being Foxp3(+) In contrast, Tregs accumulated poorly in the Sm Egg-inflamed skin. Surprisingly, we found no evidence of inflammation-specific changes to the Treg gene program between adjuvant-inflamed skin types, suggesting a lack of selective recruitment or adaptation to the inflammatory milieu. Instead, Treg accumulation patterns were linked to differences in CD80/CD86 expression by APC and the regulation of CD25 expression, specifically in the inflamed skin. Inflammatory cues alone, without cognate Ag, differentially supported CD25 upregulation (CFA and Alum > Sm Egg). Only in inflammatory milieus that upregulated CD25 did the provision of Ag enhance local Treg proliferation. Reduced IL-33 in the Sm Egg-inflamed environment was shown to contribute to the failure to upregulate CD25. Thus, the magnitude of the Treg response in inflamed tissues is controlled at two interdependent levels: inflammatory signals that support the upregulation of the important Treg survival factor CD25 and Ag signals that drive local expansion.
  • Published In


  • Animals, Antigens, B7-1 Antigen, B7-2 Antigen, Dermatitis, Female, Inflammation, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit, Interleukin-4, Lymphocyte Activation, Lymphocyte Count, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Skin, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Billroth-MacLurg AC; Ford J; Rosenberg A; Miller J; Fowell DJ
  • Start Page

  • 2208
  • End Page

  • 2218
  • Volume

  • 197
  • Issue

  • 6