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Negative regulation of T cell homeostasis by lymphocyte activation gene-3 (CD223).

Workman C.J., Vignali D.A.

Lymphocyte homeostasis is a central biological process that is tightly regulated. However, its molecular and cellular control is poorly understood. We show that aged mice deficient in lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG-3), an MHC class II binding CD4 homologue, have twice as many T cells as wild-type controls. CD4(+) and CD8(+) LAG-3-deficient T cells showed enhanced homeostatic expansion in lymphopenic hosts, which was abrogated by ectopic expression of wild-type LAG-3, but not by a signaling-defective mutant. In addition, in vivo treatment with anti-LAG-3 mAb resulted in enhanced T cell expansion to a level comparable to that in LAG-3-deficient cells. This deregulation of T cell homeostasis also resulted in the expansion of multiple cell types, including B cells, macrophages, granulocytes, and dendritic cells. Lastly, regulatory T cells were dependent on LAG-3 for their optimal control of T cell homeostasis. Our data suggest that LAG-3 negatively regulates T cell homeostasis by regulatory T cell-dependent and independent mechanisms.

J. Immunol. 174:688-695(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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