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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 721817, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/721817
Research Article

Regulatory T Cells Accumulate in the Lung Allergic Inflammation and Efficiently Suppress T-Cell Proliferation but Not Th2 Cytokine Production

1Departamento de Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA
3Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 04023-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
4Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, 2780-901 Oeiras, Portugal
5Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Campus Diadema e Centro de Terapia Celular e Molecular (CTCMol), Universidade Federal de São Paulo, 04044-010 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
6Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein, 05652-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
7Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 13 May 2011; Accepted 31 August 2011

Academic Editor: Valerie Verhasselt

Copyright © 2012 Lucas Faustino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Foxp3+CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cells are vital for peripheral tolerance and control of tissue inflammation. In this study, we characterized the phenotype and monitored the migration and activity of regulatory T cells present in the airways of allergic or tolerant mice after allergen challenge. To induce lung allergic inflammation, mice were sensitized twice with ovalbumin/aluminum hydroxide gel and challenged twice with intranasal ovalbumin. Tolerance was induced by oral administration of ovalbumin for 5 consecutive days prior to OVA sensitization and challenge. We detected regulatory T cells (Foxp3+CD25+CD4+ T cells) in the airways of allergic and tolerant mice; however, the number of regulatory T cells was more than 40-fold higher in allergic mice than in tolerant mice. Lung regulatory T cells expressed an effector/memory phenotype (CCR4highCD62LlowCD44highCD54highCD69+) that distinguished them from naive regulatory T cells (CCR4intCD62LhighCD44intCD54intCD69). These regulatory T cells efficiently suppressed pulmonary T-cell proliferation but not Th2 cytokine production.