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"Regulating the regulators"

Regulatory T cells (Treg cells) play a central and non-redundant role in the protection of the organism against autoimmune pathology and chronic inflammation. As most T lymphocytes, most Treg cells differentiate in the thymus. The age-dependent involution of this organ leads to decreasing production of T cells. The team «  Tolerance and Autoimmunity » of the CPTP found that the output of new Treg cells from the thymus decreased substantially more than that of conventional T cells. It observed that peripheral mouse and human Treg cells recirculated back to the thymus, where they constituted a large proportion of the pool of Treg cells and displayed an activated and differentiated phenotype. In the thymus, the recirculating cells exerted their regulatory function by inhibiting interleukin 2 (IL-2)-dependent de novo differentiation of Treg cells. Thus, Treg cell development is controlled by a negative feedback loop in which mature progeny cells return to the thymus and restrain development of precursors of Treg cells.

Last updated October 12, 2015

Centre de physiopathologie de Toulouse Purpan - CHU Purpan - BP 3028 31024 Toulouse Cedex 3
Inserm University of Toulouse Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier