CD73 (5′-ectonucleotidase) is expressed by two distinct mouse CD4 T cell populations: CD25+ (FoxP3+) T regulatory (Treg) cells that suppress T cell proliferation but do not secrete IL-2, and CD25 - uncommitted primed precursor Th (Thpp) cells that secrete IL-2 but do not suppress in standard Treg suppressor assays. CD73 on both Treg and Thpp cells converted extracellular 5′-AMP to adenosine. Adenosine suppressed proliferation and cytokine secretion of Th1 and Th2 effector cells, even when target cells were activated by anti-CD3 and anti-CD28. This represents an additional suppressive mechanism of Treg cells and a previously unrecognized suppressive activity of Thpp cells. Infiltration of either Treg or Thpp cells at inflammatory sites could potentially convert 5′-AMP generated by neutrophils or dying cells into the anti-inflammatory mediator adenosine, thus dampening excessive immune reactions. Copyright © 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.