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Abstract Dendritic cells (DC) are key regulators of immune responses. Mature DC are traditionally considered to be immunogenic, although there is accumulating evidence that they can also be tolerogenic and induce Ag-specific regulatory T cells (Tregs). However, the mechanism of this Treg induction and the site of Treg action in vivo are yet to be defined. In this study, using the experimental model of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein peptide (1–20)-induced experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis, we show that s.c. inoculation of IRBP-peptide-pulsed IL-10-producing LPS-activated mature DC (IL-10-DC) at one site (the cervical region) suppresses autoimmunity induced at a separate site (the inguinal region). Our data show that s.c. IL-10-DC correlates with an increase in the number of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Tregs at the DC-draining lymph nodes (DC-dLN). However, although MHCII−/− IL-10-DC also induces Treg expansion at this DC-dLN, they failed to suppress experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis. Furthermore, unlike wild-type IL-10-DC, MHCII−/− IL-10-DC did not correlate with an increase in the percentage of Tregs expressing CD62L at the DC-dLN, nor did they associate with an increase in Treg number at a distal site. Similar effects were also observed after s.c. hen egg lysozyme-pulsed IL-10-DC, which produced a strong reduction in the number and activation of proliferating Ag-specific CD4+ 3A9 T effector cells. We therefore propose that IL-10-DC require MHCII-dependent Ag presentation, and hence TCR ligation, to promote CD62L-mediated trafficking of Tregs to the site of T effector cell priming, where they suppress autoimmunity.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of Immunology


The American Association of Immunologists

Publication Date





3889 - 3899