Coexpression of CD25 and CD27 identifies FoxP3+ regulatory T cells in inflamed synovia

Claudia R. Ruprecht, Marco Gattorno, Francesca Ferlito, Andrea Gregorio, Alberto Martini, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Federica Sallusto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A better understanding of the role of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells in disease pathogenesis should follow from the discovery of reliable markers capable of discriminating regulatory from activated T cells. We report that the CD4+CD25+population in synovial fluid of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients comprises both regulatory and effector T cells that can be distinguished by expression of CD27. CD4 +CD25+CD27+ cells expressed high amounts of FoxP3 (43% of them being FoxP3+), did not produce interleukin (IL)-2,interferon-γ, or tumor necrosis factor, and suppressed T cell proliferation in vitro, being, on a per cell basis, fourfold more potent than the corresponding peripheral blood population. Incontrast, CD4 +CD25+CD27- cells expressed low amounts of FoxP3, produced effector cytokines and did not suppress T cell proliferation. After in vitro activation and expansion, regulatory but not conventional T cells maintained high expression of CD27. IL-7 and IL-15 were found to be present in synovial fluid of JIA patients and, when added in vitro, abrogated the suppressive activity of regulatory T cells. Together, these results demonstrate that, when used in conjunction with CD25, CD27 is a useful marker to distinguish regulatory from effector T cells in inflamed tissues and suggest that at these sites IL-7 and IL-15 may interfere with regulatory T cell function. JEM

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1793-1803
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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