IL-10 is involved in the suppression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cells

Xingmin Zhang, Djordje N. Koldzic, Leonid Izikson, Jayagopala Reddy, Remedios F. Nazareno, Shimon Sakaguchi, Vijay K. Kuchroo, Howard L. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

299 Scopus citations


CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cells inhibit the activation of autoreactive T cells in vitro and in vivo, and suppress organ-specific autoimmune diseases. The mechanism of CD25+CD4+ T cells in the regulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is poorly understood. To assess the role of CD25+CD4+ T cells in EAE, SJL mice were immunized with myelin proteolipid protein (PLP 139-151 to develop EAE and were treated with anti-CD25 mAb. Treatment with anti-CD25 antibody following immunization resulted in a significant enhancement of EAE disease severity and mortality. There was increased inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) of anti-CD25 mAb-treated mice. Anti-CD25 antibody treatment caused a decrease in the percentage of CD25+CD4+ T cells in blood, peripheral lymph node (LN) and spleen associated with increased production of IFN-γ and a decrease in IL-10 production by LN cells stimulated with PLP130-151 in vitro. In addition, transfer of CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cells from naive SJL mice decreased the severity of active EAE. In vitro, anti-CD3-stimulated CD25+CD4+ T cells from naive SJL mice secreted IL-10 and IL-10 soluble receptor (sR) partially reversed the in vitro suppressive activity of CD25+CD4+ T cells. CD25+CD4+ T cells from IL-10-deficient mice were unable to suppress active EAE. These findings demonstrate that CD25+CD4+ T cells suppress pathogenic autoreactive T cells in actively induced EAE and suggest they may play an important natural regulatory function in controlling CNS autoimmune disease through a mechanism that involves IL-10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • CD25CD4 regulatory T cells
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • IL-10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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