Immunologic research

Expansion of regulatory T cells from umbilical cord blood and adult peripheral blood CD4(+)CD25 (+) T cells.

PMID 24515612


CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Treg), if properly expanded from umbilical cord blood (UCB), may provide a promising immunotherapeutic tool. Our previous data demonstrated that UCB CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells with 4-day stimulation have comparable phenotypes and suppressive function to that of adult peripheral blood (APB) CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells. We further examined whether 2-week culture would achieve higher expansion levels of Tregs. UCB CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells and their APB counterparts were stimulated with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 in the presence of IL-2 or IL-15 for 2xa0weeks. The cell proliferation and forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) expression were examined. The function of the expanded cells was then investigated by suppressive assay. IL-21 was applied to study whether it counteracts the function of UCB and APB CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells. The results indicate that UCB CD4(+)CD25(+) T cells expanded much better than their APB counterparts. IL-2 was superior to expand UCB and APB Tregs for 2xa0weeks than IL-15. FoxP3 expression which peaked on Day 10-14 was comparable. Most importantly, expanded UCB Tregs showed greater suppressive function in allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction. The addition of IL-21, however, counteracted the suppressive function of expanded UCB and APB Tregs. The results support using UCB as a source of Treg cells.