Background: Although evidence exists that regulatory T cells (Tregs) can suppress the effector phase of immune responses, it is clear that their major role is in suppressing T cell priming in secondary lymphoid organs. Recent experiments using two photon laser microscopy indicate that dendritic cells (DCs) are central to Treg cell function and that the in vivo mechanisms of T cell regulation are more complex than those described in vitro. Principal Findings: Here we have sought to determine whether and how modulation of Treg numbers modifies the lymph node (LN) microenvironment. We found that pro-inflammatory chemokines - CCL2 (MCP-1) and CCL3 (MIP-la) - are secreted in the LN early (24 h) after T cell activation, that this secretion is dependent on antigen-specific DC-T cell interactions, and that it was inversely related to the frequency of Tregs specific for the same antigen. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Tregs modify the chemoattractant properties of antigen-presenting DCs, which, as the frequency of Tregs increases, fail to produce CCL2 and CCL3 and to attract antigen-specific T cells. Conclusions: These results substantiate a major role of Tregs in LN patterning during antigen-specific immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)