Critical influence of natural regulatory CD25+ T cells on the fate of allografts in the absence of immunosuppression.
Benghiat FS., Graca L., Braun MY., Detienne S., Moore F., Buonocore S., Flamand V., Waldmann H., Goldman M., Le Moine A.
BACKGROUND: Allografts are occasionally accepted in the absence of immunosuppression. Because naturally occurring CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (natural CD25(+) Treg cells) have been shown to inhibit allograft rejection, we investigated their influence on the outcome of allografts in nonimmunosuppressed mouse recipients. METHODS: We compared survival times of male CBA/Ca skin grafts in female CBA/Ca recipients expressing a transgenic anti-HY T-cell receptor on a RAG-1(+/+) (A1[M]RAG+) or a RAG-1(-/-) (A1[M]RAG-) background. Depletion of natural CD25(+) Treg cells in A1[M]RAG+ mice was achieved by in vivo administration of the PC61 monoclonal antibody. The influence of natural CD25(+) Treg cells on the fate of major histocompatibility complex class II-mismatched (C57BL/6X bm12)F1 skin or bm12 heart transplants in C57BL/6 recipients was also assessed. Finally, we investigated the impact of natural CD25(+) Treg cells on the production of T-helper (Th)1 and Th2 cytokines in mixed lymphocyte cultures between C57BL/6 CD4(+) CD25(-) T cells as responders and bm12 or (C57BL/6X bm12)F1 antigen-presenting cells as stimulators. RESULTS: Male allografts were spontaneously accepted by female A1(M)RAG+ mice but readily rejected by female A1(M)RAG+ mice depleted of natural CD25(+) Treg cells by pretreatment with the PC61 monoclonal antibody. Depletion of CD25(+) Treg cells also enhanced eosinophil-determined rejection of (C57BL/6X bm12)F1 skin grafts or bm12 cardiac grafts in C57BL/6 recipients. Finally, natural CD25(+) Treg cells inhibited the production of interleukin (IL)-2, interferon-gamma, IL-5, and IL-13 in mixed lymphocyte culture in a dose-dependent manner. CONCLUSION: Natural CD25(+) Treg cells control Th1- and Th2-type allohelper T-cell responses and thereby influence the fate of allografts in nonimmunosuppressed recipients.