CD4 + CD25 high regulatory T cells (Treg), which are a specialized subset of T cells, play an important role in the prevention of autoimmune diseases, maintenance of immune system homeostasis and tolerance to self-antigens. Chinese rhesus macaques (CRMs) are widely used in preclinical research on potential therapeutic drugs, vaccines and mechanisms of human diseases. However, the basic immunological characterization of Treg cells of CRMs has not been well established. To characterize Treg cells, peripheral blood of 43 adult CRMs was analyzed for CD4+ T lymphocytes by flow cytometry. It was found that Treg cells ranged from 1.52% to 11.1% of CD4+ T cells, and the average value was 5.7%. With our SIV-infected CRM model, through further studies, it was found that Treg cells in peripheral blood increased both in relative and absolute quantities. Moreover, Treg cells maintained their functions by suppressing Th1 cytokine secretion of their target cells. The results show that Treg cells might render cellular immunity against SIV viruses dysfunctional during the early stage after infection.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2012
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