Human CD8+CD28- T suppressor cells expanded by IL-15 in vitro suppress in an allospecific and programmed cell death protein 1-dependent manner

Fu Feng, Yanjun Liu, Guihuan Liu, Ping Zhu, Manman Zhu, Hua Zhang, Xiao Lu, Jiumin Liu, Xunrong Luo, Yuming Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


CD8+CD28- T suppressor cells (Ts) have been recently documented to play an important role in alloimmunity. Therefore, understanding and optimizing the conditions under which these cells are generated and/or expanded would greatly facilitate further research and potential clinical use. In this study, we describe rapid expansion of human allospecific CD8+CD28- Ts cells through coculture of CD8+ T cells with human leukocyte antigen-mismatched donor antigen-presenting cells plus IL-15 in a relative short period of time in vitro. Interestingly, IL-15 promotes the expansion of CD8+CD28- Ts cells through several parallel mechanisms. The expanded CD8+CD28- Ts cells upregulate expression of CD132, CD25, and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), but downregulate expression of CD122, GZM-B, and perforin, while exhibiting no cytotoxicity. Most importantly, the expanded CD8+CD28- Ts cells vigorously inhibit CD4+ T cells proliferation in a contact-dependent and donor-specific manner both in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, the co-inhibitory molecules PD-1 and programmed death-ligand 1 play an obligatory role in the mechanisms of CD8+CD28- Ts cells suppression. Taken together, our study report novel methodology for IL-15-induced expansion of human CD8+CD28- Ts cells and possible mechanisms. These findings may facilitate understanding of transplant rejection and promote clinical application of CD8+CD28- Ts cell-based strategies for inducing and monitoring transplant tolerance in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1442
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 22 2018


  • Allospecific
  • CD8CD28 T cells
  • IL-15
  • Programmed cell death protein 1
  • Suppressor cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Human CD8<sup>+</sup>CD28<sup>-</sup> T suppressor cells expanded by IL-15 in vitro suppress in an allospecific and programmed cell death protein 1-dependent manner'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this