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Expansion of human regulatory T-cells from patients with type 1 diabetes.

  • Author(s): Putnam, Amy L
  • Brusko, Todd M
  • Lee, Michael R
  • Liu, Weihong
  • Szot, Gregory L
  • Ghosh, Taumoha
  • Atkinson, Mark A
  • Bluestone, Jeffrey A
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.2337/db08-1168
Abstract

Objective

Regulatory T-cells (Tregs) have catalyzed the field of immune regulation. However, translating Treg-based therapies from animal models of autoimmunity to human clinical trials requires robust methods for the isolation and expansion of these cells-a need forming the basis for these studies.

Research design and methods

Tregs from recent-onset type 1 diabetic patients and healthy control subjects were isolated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting and compared for their capacity to expand in vitro in response to anti-CD3-anti-CD28-coated microbeads and IL-2. Expanded cells were examined for suppressive function, lineage markers and FOXP3, and cytokine production.

Results

Both CD4+CD127(lo/-) and CD4+CD127(lo/-)CD25+ T-cells could be expanded and used as Tregs. However, expansion of CD4+CD127(lo/-) cells required the addition of rapamycin to maintain lineage purity. In contrast, expansion of CD4+CD127(lo/-)CD25+ T-cells, especially the CD45RA+ subset, resulted in high yield, functional Tregs that maintained higher FOXP3 expression in the absence of rapamycin. Tregs from type 1 diabetic patients and control subjects expanded similarly and were equally capable of suppressing T-cell proliferation. Regulatory cytokines were produced by Tregs after culture; however, a portion of FOXP3+ cells were capable of producing interferon (IFN)-gamma after reactivation. IFN-gamma production was observed from both CD45RO+ and CD45RA+ Treg populations.

Conclusions

The results support the feasibility of isolating Tregs for in vitro expansion. Based on expansion capacity, FOXP3 stability, and functional properties, the CD4+CD127(lo/-)CD25+ T-cells represent a viable cell population for cellular therapy in this autoimmune disease.

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