Activated CD1d-restricted natural killer T cells secrete IL-2: Innate help for CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells?

S Jiang, D S Game, D Davies, G Lombardi, R I Lechler

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    78 Citations (Scopus)


    CD4+CD25+ and CD1d-restricted natural killer T (NKT) cells are thymus-derived self-reactive regulatory T cells that play a key role in the control of pathological immune responses. Little is known about functional cooperation between innate regulatory NKT cells and adaptive CD4+ CD25+ regulatory cells. Here we show that human CD4+V[alpha]24+V[beta]11+ (CD4+ NKT) cells isolated from peripheral blood by flow cytometric cell sorting secrete substantial amounts of IL-2 after stimulation with dendritic cells (DC) and [alpha]-Galactosylceramide. When cocultured with CD4+CD25+ cells, CD4+ NKT cells promoted moderate proliferation of CD4+CD25+ cells. The proliferation of CD4+CD25+ T cells was due to soluble IL-2 produced by activated CD4+ NKT cells. The expanded CD4+CD25+ cells remained anergic and retained their potent suppressive properties. These findings indicate that unlike conventional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, which are susceptible to CD4+CD25+ regulatory cell suppression, NKT cells promote CD4+CD25+ regulatory cell proliferation. These data raise the possibility that NKT cells can function as helper cells to CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells, thereby providing a link between the two naturally occurring populations of regulatory T cells. (C) 2005 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1193 - 1200
    Number of pages8
    JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


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