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EMBO reports

Regulatory T cells suppress CD4+ T cells through NFAT-dependent transcriptional mechanisms.


PMID 25074018

Abstract

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) control autoreactive T cells by inhibiting activation-induced proliferation and cytokine expression. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the inactivation of effector T cells by Tregs remain yet to be fully characterized. We report that T-helper cells stimulated in the presence of Tregs quickly activate NFAT1 and have increased NFAT1-dependent expression of the transcription repressor Ikaros. NFAT1 deficiency or dominant-negative Ikaros compromises Treg-mediated inhibition of T-helper cells in vitro and in vivo. Thus, our results place NFAT-dependent mechanisms as general regulators of T-cell tolerance and show that Treg-mediated suppression of T-helper cells results from the activation of NFAT-regulated gene expression.