Expanding Human T Regulatory Cells with the mTOR-Inhibitor Rapamycin
CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells are pivotal for the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance in both mice and humans. The possibility to use Treg cells for the treatment of T-cell-mediated diseases has recently gained increasing momentum. However, given the limited amount of circulating FOXP3+ Treg cells, efficient methods for their ex vivo expansion are highly desirable. Rapamycin allows for in vitro expansion of murine and human FOXP3+ Treg cells, which maintain their regulatory phenotype and suppressive capacity. Here, we describe in detail the powerful methods for enriching human FOXP3+ Treg cells starting from unfractionated CD4+ T cells or for expanding CD25+-enriched Treg cells in the presence of rapamycin.
Key wordsImmunological tolerance Regulatory T cells Rapamycin
This work was supported by the Italian Telethon Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (GJT04014). This study was also supported in part by research funding from BD Biosciences.