Regulatory T cells induce activation rather than suppression of human basophils

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Science Immunology  25 May 2018:
Vol. 3, Issue 23, eaan0829
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan0829

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  • RE: Regulatory T cells induce activation rather than suppression of human basophils
    • Dr Dianne Sika-Paotonu, Associate Dean (Pacific)/Senior Lecturer Pathology & Molecular Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, New Zealand

    To the Editor,

    I read with keen interest the research article prepared by Sharma M., et al. (1) and entitled: “Regulatory T cells induce activation rather than suppression of human basophils.”

    This work explored the interaction between CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and basophils, and investigated the impact on basophil function.

    In addition to being important for the immunological responses against helminth parasites, basophils also mediate TH2 responses relevant to humoral immunity and B cell differentiation.

    This work showed that basophils were resistant to Treg mediated suppression but could actually be activated by Tregs, and in response, were shown to display elevated activation marker expression for CD69, CD203c, CD13 and cytokine release for IL-4, IL-8 and IL-13. The mechanism of the basophil activation involved IL-3 and STAT activation.

    As noted by the authors, this study utilised polyclonal CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ memory Tregs from healthy donors. It is recognised that Treg populations are diverse and comprised of distinctive subsets. This supports the need for work to further explore the relationship between basophils and Tregs in more depth, focusing in particular on the impact on Treg function, phenotype, cytokine release profiles – and in particular, IL-3 secretion patterns.

    As there is altered Treg function in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and conditions, the suggested undertaking of further work and...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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