Regulatory T (Treg) cells, which express Foxp3 as a transcription factor, are subsets of CD4+ T cells. Treg cells play crucial roles in immune tolerance and homeostasis maintenance by regulating the immune response. The primary role of Tregcells is to suppress the proliferation of effector T (Teff) cells and the production of cytokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2. It has been demonstrated that Treg cells' ability to inhibit the function of Teffcells is enhanced during persistent pathogen infection and cancer development. To clarify the function of Treg cells under resting or inflamed conditions, a variety of in vitro suppression assays using mouse or human Treg cells have been devised. The main aim of this study is to develop a method to compare the differences in phenotype and suppressive function between resting and activated Treg cells. To isolate activated Treg cells, mice were infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) clone 13 (CL13), a chronic strain of LCMV. Treg cells isolated from the spleen of LCMV CL13-infected mice exhibited both the activated phenotype and enhanced suppressive activity compared with resting Treg cells isolated from naïve mice. Here, we describe the basic protocol for ex vivo phenotype analysis to distinguish activated Tregcells from resting Treg cells. Furthermore, we describe a protocol for the measurement of the suppressive activity of fully activated Treg cells.
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© 2016 Journal of Visualized Experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)