Naive T cells undergo robust proliferation in lymphopenic conditions, whereas they remain quiescent in steady-state conditions. However, a mechanism by which naive T cells are kept from proliferating under steady-state conditions remains unclear. In this study, we report that memory CD4 T cells are able to limit naive T cell proliferation within lymphopenic hosts by modulating stimulatory functions of dendritic cells (DC). The inhibition was mediated by IL-27, which was primarily expressed in CD8 +DC subsets as the result of memory CD4 T cell-DC interaction. IL-27 appeared to be the major mediator of inhibition, as naive T cells deficient in IL-27R were resistant to memory CD4 T cell-mediated inhibition. Finally, IL-27-mediated regulation of T cell proliferation was also observed in steady-state conditions as well as during Ag-mediated immune responses. We propose a new model for maintaining peripheral T cell homeostasis via memory CD4 T cells and CD8 + DC-derived IL-27 in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy