Scientists discover how to grow cells that suppress immune responses

growing Tr1 cells in culture dishes for several days, drawing off some of the fluid bathing the cells and adding that fluid to other dishes containing activated, proliferating infection-fighting T cells. The fluid, which contained IL-10 produced by the Tr1 cells, shut down the growth and activity of the T cells.

That was a very good day, says Kemper. IL-10 is the classic substance that suppresses the action and proliferation of other immune cells.

The investigators next want to study how CD46 triggers production of IL-10 and to better define the population of cells that give rise to Tr1 cells. They also want to explore how viruses, including those that cause measles, meningitis and herpes, interact with CD46.

Its tempting to think that these pathogens dock with CD46 because it causes some cells to produce IL-10, which would suppress the action of nearby immune cells and help the pathogen survive, says Kemper. We can investigate such questions because we can now grow these cells in the laboratory.


Contact: Darrell E. Ward
Washington University School of Medicine

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