Developmental changes of FOXP3-expressing CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells and their impairment in patients with FOXP3 gene mutations.
Fuchizawa T., Adachi Y., Ito Y., Higashiyama H., Kanegane H., Futatani T., Kobayashi I., Kamachi Y., Sakamoto T., Tsuge I., Tanaka H., Banham AH., Ochs HD., Miyawaki T.
FOXP3 is required for the generation and function of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells. To elucidate the biological role of Treg cells, we used a monoclonal anti-FOXP3 antibody to examine the frequencies of Treg cells during child development. The percentages of CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T cells were constant shortly from after birth through adulthood. CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T cells in cord blood showed the naive CD45RA(+)CD45RO(-) phenotype, whereas adult CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T cells expressed mostly the memory CD45RA(-)CD45RO(+) phenotype. The age-dependent dominance of memory CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T cells implies functional differences between naive and memory Treg cells. Notably, four patients with FOXP3 gene mutations revealed a paucity of CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T cells. Importantly, one patient with a frame shift mutation, who showed typical symptoms of IPEX (immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked), exhibited marked T cell activation, whereas others with missense mutations, who were clinically milder, did not. This observation suggests a possible genotype-phenotype correlation in IPEX.