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FOXP3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells have crucial roles in maintaining self-tolerance and modulating adaptive immune responses. Functional studies of Treg cells have been hampered by a lack of suitable cell-surface markers that specifically enable their purification without contamination by non-regulatory CD25+ effector T cells. Two recent studies have demonstrated that downregulation of the interleukin-7 receptor (CD127) distinguishes Treg cells from activated T cells, facilitating both Treg-cell purification and their functional characterization in human diseases. CD127 uniquely enables the purification of FOXP3+ Treg cells and, potentially, also "adaptive" regulatory T-cell subsets from the CD4+CD25- T-cell population.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Immunol

Publication Date





541 - 544


Animals, Cell Separation, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Down-Regulation, Forkhead Transcription Factors, Humans, Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit, Interleukin-7 Receptor alpha Subunit, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Models, Immunological, T-Lymphocytes, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory