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Fc receptor-like 3 protein expressed on IL-2 nonresponsive subset of human regulatory T cells.

Nagata S., Ise T., Pastan I.

Fc receptor-like 3 (FCRL3) is a cell surface protein homologous to Fc receptors. The FCRL3 gene is present in humans but not in mice. We found that FCRL3 protein is expressed on 40% of human naturally occurring CD4(+) regulatory T (nTreg) cells (CD4(+)CD25(+)CD127(low)). Sorted nTreg cells with the surface phenotype FCRL3(+) and FCRL3(-) were both hypoproliferative to TCR stimulation and both suppressive on proliferation of conventional T cells (CD4(+)CD25(-)) in vitro. They both expressed forkhead box p3 (Foxp3) protein, the intracellular regulatory T cell marker. However, in contrast to FCRL3(-) nTreg cells, FCRL3(+) nTreg cells were not stimulated to proliferate by the addition of exogenous IL-2. In addition, Foxp3(+) cells induced from conventional T cells by TGF-beta treatment did not exhibit FCRL3 expression. These results suggest that the FCRL3(+) subset of human nTreg cells identified in this study arise in vivo and Foxp3 expression alone is not sufficient to induce FCRL3 expression. FCRL3 may be involved in human-specific mechanisms to control the generation of nTreg cells.

J. Immunol. 182:7518-7526(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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