T regulatory cells control numbers of NK cells and CD8alpha+ immature dendritic cells in the lymph node paracortex.
Institute of Research in Immunology and Cancer, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The spleen contains numerous NK cells whose differentiation profile is characterized by a preponderance of mature elements located mainly in the red pulp. In contrast, lymph nodes (LNs) contain few NK cells and they are sited mostly in T cell zones and skewed toward immature developmental stages. We show that, in mice, naturally occurring CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells are both necessary and sufficient to repress accumulation of NK cells in resting LNs. Moreover, we present evidence that Treg cells hamper generation of mature NK cells through short-range interactions with NK precursors. In turn, mature NK cells specifically regulate the amount of CD8alpha+ phenotypically immature dendritic cells present in LN T cell zones. We propose that the dominant influence of Treg cells on NK cell precursors and CD8alpha+ immature dendritic cells explains why "quiescent" LNs in the absence of infection function as privileged sites for induction and maintenance of tolerance to peripheral Ags.
J. Immunol. 2007;179(7):4492-502.
Pubmed ID: 17878345