Characterisation of regulatory T cells in nasal associated lymphoid tissue in children: relationships with pneumococcal colonization

Q Zhang, SC Leong, PS McNamara, A Mubara, R Malley, A Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Regulatory T cells (Treg) diminish immune responses to microbial infection, which may contribute to preventing inflammation-related local tissue damage and autoimmunity but may also contribute to chronicity of infection. Nasopharyngeal carriage of pneumococcus is common in young children and can persist for long periods but it is unknown whether the presence of Treg in the nasopharynx contributes to this persistence. We have investigated the numbers and activities of Foxp3+Treg in adenoidal tissues and their association with pneumococcal carriage in children. Expression of Treg cell-related markers including Foxp3, CD25, CD39, CD127 and CLTA4 were analysed by flow-cytometry in adenoidal mononuclear cells (MNC) and PBMC from children. Unfractionated MNC or Treg-depleted MNC were stimulated with a pneumococcal whole cell antigen (WCA) and T cell proliferation measured. Cytokine production by MNC was measured using a cytometric bead array. Higher numbers of CD25(high)Foxp3(high) Treg expressing higher CD39 and CTLA4 were found in adenoidal MNC than in PBMC. Children with pneumococcus positive nasopharyngeal cultures had higher proportions of Treg and expressed higher levels of CD39 and CTLA-4 than those who were culture negative (-). WCA induced adenoidal Treg proliferation which produce IL10 but not IL17, and CD4 T cell proliferation in Treg-depleted MNC was greater in pneumococcal culture positive than negative children. Significant numbers of Treg with an effector/memory phenotype which possess a potent inhibitory effect, exist in adenoidal tissue. The association of pneumococcal carriage with an increased frequency of adenoidal Treg suggests that Treg in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT) may contribute to the persistence of pneumococcus in children. Further studies to determine what component and mechanisms are involved in the promotion of Treg in NALT may lead to novel therapeutic or vaccination strategy against upper respiratory infection.
Translated title of the contributionCharacterisation of regulatory T cells in nasal associated lymphoid tissue in children: relationships with pneumococcal colonization
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1002175
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Volume7
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2011

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