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Stross, L. ; Günther, J. ; Gasteiger, G. ; Asen, T. ; Graf, S. ; Aichler, M. ; Esposito, I. ; Busch, D.H. ; Knolle, P.* ; Sparwasser, T.* ; Protzer, U.

Foxp3+ regulatory T cells protect the liver from immune damage and compromise virus control during acute experimental hepatitis B virus infection in mice.

Hepatology 56, 873-883 (2012)
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The strength of antiviral T cell responses correlates with clearance of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, but the immunological mechanisms mitigating or suppressing HBV-specific T cells are still poorly understood. In this study, we examined the role of CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) in a mouse model of acute HBV infection. We initiated HBV infection via an adenoviral vector transferring a 1.3-fold overlength HBV genome (AdHBV) into transgenic DEREG mice, where Tregs can be transiently but selectively depleted by injection of diphtheria toxin. The effect of Treg depletion on the outcome of HBV infection was characterized by detailed virological, immunological, and histopathological analysis. Numbers of Tregs increase in the liver rapidly after initiation of HBV replication. Initial depletion of Tregs revealed their complex regulatory function during acute infection. Tregs mitigated immunomediated liver damage by down-regulating the antiviral activity of effector T cells by limiting cytokine production and cytotoxicity, but did not influence development of HBV-specific CD8 T cells or development of memory T cells. Furthermore, Tregs controlled the recruitment of innate immune cells such as macrophages and dendritic cells to the infected liver. As a consequence, Tregs significantly delayed clearance of HBV from blood and infected hepatocytes. Conclusion: Tregs limit immunomediated liver damage early after an acute infection of the liver, thereby contributing to conservation of tissue integrity and organ function at the cost of prolonging virus clearance. (HEPATOLOGY 2012;56:873883)
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Schlagwörter AUTOIMMUNE-DISEASE; DEPLETION; RESPONSES
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0270-9139
e-ISSN 1527-3350
Zeitschrift Hepatology
Quellenangaben Band: 56, Heft: 3, Seiten: 873-883 Artikelnummer: , Supplement: ,
Verlag Wiley
Verlagsort Hoboken, NJ
Begutachtungsstatus