Induction of FOXP3-expressing regulatory CD4pos T cells by human mature autologous dendritic cells

Valérie Verhasselt, Olivier Vosters, Claire Beuneu, Charles Nicaise, Patrick Stordeur, Michel Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current literature suggests that T cells recognizing antigen on mature dendritic cells (DC) differentiate into effector T cells whereas tolerance is induced when antigen is presented by immature DC. We investigated the consequences of the interactions between immature or lipopolysaccharide-matured DC and CD4(pos) T lymphocytes in absence of foreign antigen. While immature DC did not induce significant CD4(pos) T cell activation, we observed that a significant fraction of CD4(pos) T cells cultured with mature autologous DC displayed phenotypic features of activation and produced IL-2, IFN-gamma, IL-10 and TGF-beta. Furthermore, CD4(pos) T lymphocytes primed by mature, but not immature, autologous DC acquired regulatory properties. Indeed, when added to an allogeneic mixed leukocyte reaction, they suppressed the response of alloreactive T lymphocytes to the priming DC while responses to third-party stimulators were spared. The generation of CD4(pos) T cells with regulatory function by autologous stimulation did not require the presence of natural CD4(pos)CD25(pos) regulatory T cells. In addition, the acquisition of regulatory function by CD4(pos)CD25(neg) T cells stimulated by autologous mature DC was accompanied by the induction of FOXP3 expression. Our data suggest that during inflammatory conditions, presentation of self antigens by mature DC to autologous T lymphocytes could contribute to the generation of regulatory mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-72
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean journal of immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Antigen Presentation
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Cytokines
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Growth Substances
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Phenotype
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets


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