Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Eos Is Redundant for Regulatory T Cell Function but Plays an Important Role in IL-2 and Th17 Production by CD4+ Conventional T Cells.

PMID 26062998


Eos belongs to the Ikaros family of transcription factors. It was reported to be a regulatory T cell (Treg) signature gene, to play a critical role in Treg suppressor functions, and to maintain Treg stability. We used mice with a global deficiency in Eos to re-examine the role of Eos expression in both Tregs and conventional T cells (Tconvs). Tregs from Eos-deficient (Eos(-/-)) mice developed normally, displayed a normal Treg phenotype, and exhibited normal suppressor function in vitro. Eos(-/-) Tregs were as effective as Tregs from wild-type (WT) mice in suppressing inflammation in a model of inflammatory bowel disease. Bone marrow (BM) from Eos(-/-) mice was as effective as that from WT mice in controlling T cell activation when used to reconstitute immunodeficient mice in the presence of scurfy fetal liver cells. Surprisingly, Eos was expressed in activated Tconvs and was required for IL-2 production, CD25 expression, and proliferation in vitro by CD4(+) Tconvs. Eos(-/-) mice developed more severe experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis than WT mice, displayed increased numbers of effector T cells in the periphery and CNS, and amplified IL-17 production. In conclusion, our studies are not consistent with a role for Eos in Treg development and function but demonstrate that Eos plays an important role in the activation and differentiation of Tconvs.