16.01.2013, 17:15 - Vortrag - Scientific
Lars Rogge "Multi-parameter single-cell profiling of human regulatory T cell populations"
CD4+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Treg) are of critical importance for the control of immune homeostasis and the maintenance of tolerance. The perspective to harness the potent immunosuppressive activity of Treg for clinical applications has sparked enormous interest in this cell population. Recent studies, however, have shown that the human Treg landscape may be more complicated than previously thought: not only do several distinct Treg subsets exist, but also the possibility has been raised that Treg may represent a “plastic” lineage with propensity to convert into an inflammatory cell phenotype. Understanding the heterogeneity of human Treg and their potential for lineage reprogramming to pro-inflammatory effector T cells is key for moving Treg therapy into the clinics. We have explored the heterogeneity and functional diversity of human Treg using multi-parameter single-cell analysis techniques in healthy donors and in patients developing acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Our data suggest that heterogeneity at the single-cell level, rather than reprogramming of CD4+FOXP3+ T cells, explains the remarkable complexity and functional diversity of human Treg.