, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 677-686

An Inverse Correlation of Human Peripheral Blood Regulatory T Cell Frequency with the Disease Activity of Ulcerative Colitis

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Evidence suggests that CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells play a crucial role in the suppression of intestinal inflammation. However, their role in the suppression of inflammatory bowel disease has not yet been addressed. We examined the proportion of regulatory T cells in inflammatory bowel disease. First, we isolated CD4+CD45RO+CD25+ T cells from the peripheral blood of healthy persons and showed that these cells suppressed T cell proliferation profoundly and expressed FoxP3 abundantly, revealing that they are regulatory cells. Then the proportion of CD45RO+CD25+ in peripheral blood CD4+ T cells was analyzed in patients and healthy controls by flow cytometry. CD4+CD45RO+CD25+ T cell frequency was significantly lower in active ulcerative colitis than in the control and inactive ulcerative colitis. CD4+CD45RO+CD25+ T cell frequency was inversely correlated with the clinical and endoscopic severity of ulcerative colitis. These results suggest that a deficiency of regulatory T cells is associated with the progression of ulcerative colitis.

This work was supported in part by Health and Labour Science Research Grants from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and Research on Measures for Intractable Disease.