Regulatory T (Treg) cells help to maintain tolerance and prevent the development of autoimmune diseases. Retinoic acid (RA) can promote peripheral conversion of naïve T cells into Foxp3 + Treg cells. Here, we show that RA can act as an adjuvant to induce antigen-specific type 1 Treg (Tr1) cells, which is augmented by co-administration of IL-2. Immunization of mice with the model antigen KLH in the presence of RA and IL-2 induces T cells that secrete IL-10, but not IL-17 or IFN-γ, and express LAG-3, CD49b and PD-1 but not Foxp3, a phenotype typical of Tr1 cells. Furthermore, immunization of mice with the autoantigen MOG in the presence of RA and IL-2 induces Tr1 cells, which suppress pathogenic Th1 and Th17 cells that mediate the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an autoimmune disease of the CNS. Furthermore, immunization with a surrogate autoantigen, RA and IL-2 prevents development of spontaneous autoimmune uveitis. Our findings demonstrate that the induction of autoantigen-specific Tr1 cells can prevent the development of autoimmunity.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 1 May 2019|