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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Immunology - Infectious Diseases - Respiratory Medicine

Foxp3+ Regulatory T Cells among Tuberculosis Patients: Impact on Prognosis and Restoration of Antigen Specific IFN-? Producing T Cells
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Author: Amar Singh et al.

by Amar Singh, Aparajita Ballave Dey, Anant Mohan, Prabhat Kumar Sharma, Dipendra Kumar Mitra

CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Regulatory T cells (Treg) and programmed death-1 (PD-1) molecules have emerged as pivotal players in immune suppression of chronic diseases. However, their impact on the disease severity, therapeutic response and restoration of immune response in human tuberculosis remains unclear. Here, we describe the possible role of Treg cells, their M. tuberculosis driven expansion and contribution of PD-1 pathway to the suppressive function of Treg cells among pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients. Multicolor flow cytometry, cell culture, cells sorting and ELISA were employed to execute the study. Our results showed significant increase in frequency of antigen-reactive Treg cells, which gradually declined during successful therapy and paralleled with decline of M. tuberculosis–specific IL-10 along with elevation of IFN-? production, and raising the IFN-?/IL-4 ratio. Interestingly, persistence of Treg cells tightly correlated with MDR tuberculosis. Also, we show that blocking PD-1/PD-L1 pathway abrogates Treg-mediated suppression, suggesting that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway is required for Treg-mediated suppression of the antigen-specific T cells. Treg cells possibly play a role in dampening the effector immune response and abrogating PD-1 pathway on Treg cells significantly rescued protective T cell response, suggesting its importance in immune restoration among tuberculosis patients.
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