CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells suppress Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunity in patients with active disease

Xinchun Chen, Boping Zhou, Meizhong Li, Qunyi Deng, Xueqiong Wu, Xiaohua Le, Chi Wu, Nicolas Larmonier, Wei Zhang, Hongmei Zhang, Huosheng Wang, Emmanuel Katsanis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Scopus citations


CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Treg) play a central role in the prevention of autoimmunity and in the control of immune responses by down-regulating the function of effector CD4+ or CD8+ T cells. The role of Treg in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and persistence is inadequately documented. Therefore, the current study was designed to determine whether CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells may modulate immunity against human tuberculosis (TB). Our results indicate that the number of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg increases in the blood or at the site of infection in active TB patients. The frequency of CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg in pleural fluid inversely correlates with local MTB-specific immunity (p < 0.002). These CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T lymphocytes isolated from the blood and pleural fluid are capable of suppressing MTB-specific IFN-γ and IL-10 production in TB patients. Therefore, CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ Treg expanded in TB patients suppress M. tuberculosis immunity and may therefore contribute to the pathogenesis of human TB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • CD4CD25FoxP3 regulatory T cells
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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