Protocol

Regulatory T Cells

Volume 707 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 45-54

Date:

In Vitro and In Vivo Analyses of Regulatory T Cell Suppression of CD8+ T Cells

  • Kim J. HasenkrugAffiliated withLaboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health Email author 
  • , Lara M. MyersAffiliated withLaboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

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Abstract

The study of regulatory T cells (Treg) requires methods for both in vivo and in vitro analyses, both of which have different limitations, but which complement each other to give a more complete picture of physiological function than either method alone. Our analyses have focused on Treg-mediated suppression of CD8+ T cells, and in particular Tregs induced by viral infection. One of the unique characteristics of virus-induced Tregs is that they can suppress CD8+ T cell function in vitro without the requirement for additional stimulation. This ability correlates with their suppressive capacity and activated status in vivo. Interestingly, while virus-induced Tregs suppress CD8+ T cell function in vitro and in vivo, they do not suppress proliferation unless they are further activated in vitro.

Key words

Regulatory T cells CD8+ T cells