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Regulatory T (T reg) cells exert powerful down-modulatory effects on immune responses, but it is not known how they act in vivo. Using intravital two-photon laser scanning microscopy we determined that, in the absence of T reg cells, the locomotion of autoantigen-specific T cells inside lymph nodes is decreased, and the contacts between T cells and antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DCs) are of longer duration. Thus, T reg cells can exert an early effect on immune responses by attenuating the establishment of stable contacts during priming of naive T cells by DCs.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Med

Publication Date





505 - 511


Animals, Antigen Presentation, Autoantigens, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Adhesion, Cell Communication, Cell Movement, Dendritic Cells, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Microscopy, Confocal, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory