Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Regulatory T (Treg) cells are critically important for the maintenance of immunological tolerance. Both centrally arising natural nTreg cells and those emerging in the periphery in response to TGF-β, iTreg cells, play a role in the control of unwanted immune responses. Treg cells adopt multiple mechanisms to inhibit effector T cells, yet it is unclear whether these mechanisms are shared by nTreg cells and iTreg cells alike. Here, we show that iTreg cells, like nTreg cells, are able to out-compete naïve T cells in clustering around dendritic cells (DCs). However, using both a tamoxifen-responsive inducible Foxp3 retroviral construct and TGF-β-induced iTreg cells from hCD2-Foxp3 knock in reporter mice, we show that it is prior antigen-induced activation rather than Foxp3 expression per se that determines the ability of iTreg cells to competitively cluster around DCs. We found no difference in the capacity of iTreg cells to displace naïve T cells around DCs to that of Tr1, Th1, Th2, or Th9 cells. An important difference was, however, that clustering of iTreg cells around DCs, just as for naïve T cells, did not effectively activate DCs.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





1436 - 1448


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Cell Aggregation, Cell Polarity, Dendritic Cells, Forkhead Transcription Factors, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, Mice, Inbred CBA, Molecular Sequence Data, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory, Transforming Growth Factor beta