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Article
Nature Medicine  6, 782 - 789 (2000)
doi:10.1038/77513

Identification of a previously unknown antigen-specific regulatory T cell and its mechanism of suppression

Zhu-Xu Zhang1, 2, Liming Yang1, 2, Kevin J. Young1, Barb DuTemple1 & Li Zhang1

1  Department of Laboratory of Medicine and Pathobiology, Multi Organ Transplantation Program, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, UHN, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5G, 2C4, Canada

2  contributed equally to this study.

Correspondence should be addressed to Li Zhang lzhang@transplantunit.org
Despite increasing evidence for the existence of antigen-specific regulatory T cells, the mechanisms underlying suppression remain unclear. In this study we have identified and cloned a novel subset of antigen-specific regulatory T cells and demonstrated that these T cells possess a unique combination of cell surface markers and array of cytokines. The regulatory T cells are able to inhibit the function of T cells carrying the same T-cell receptor specificity and prevent skin allograft rejection in an antigen-specific, dose-dependent manner. The regulatory T cells are able to acquire alloantigen from antigen-presenting cells, present the alloantigen to activated syngeneic CD8+ T cells and then send death signals to CD8+ T cells. These findings provide a novel mechanism of regulatory T-cell-mediated, antigen-specific suppression.

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Nature Medicine
ISSN: 1078-8956
EISSN: 1546-170X
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