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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 679804, 8 pages
Research Article

Trichostatin A Promotes the Generation and Suppressive Functions of Regulatory T Cells

1Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Andrés Bello, República 275, Santiago, Chile
2Fundación Ciencia & Vida, Avenida Zañartu 1482, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile
3Laboratorio de Inmunología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
4Universidad San Sebastián, Avenida Lota 2465, Providencia, Santiago, Chile

Received 30 January 2013; Revised 9 April 2013; Accepted 9 April 2013

Academic Editor: Nicolaus Kroger

Copyright © 2013 Cristian Doñas 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.


Regulatory T cells are a specific subset of lymphocytes that suppress immune responses and play a crucial role in the maintenance of self-tolerance. They can be generated in the thymus as well as in the periphery through differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells. The forkhead box P3 transcription factor (Foxp3) is a crucial molecule regulating the generation and function of Tregs. Here we show that the foxp3 gene promoter becomes hyperacetylated in in vitro differentiated Tregs compared to naïve CD4+ T cells. We also show that the histone deacetylase inhibitor TSA stimulated the in vitro differentiation of naïve CD4+ T cells into Tregs and that this induction was accompanied by a global increase in histone H3 acetylation. Importantly, we also demonstrated that Tregs generated in the presence of TSA have phenotypical and functional differences from the Tregs generated in the absence of TSA. Thus, TSA-generated Tregs showed increased suppressive activities, which could potentially be explained by a mechanism involving the ectonucleotidases CD39 and CD73. Our data show that TSA could potentially be used to enhance the differentiation and suppressive function of CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells.