Association of CD45dimVLA-4+ cells with the NKT cell lineage and their selective expression of IL-13, IP-15, and CCR3 transcripts
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Estrogen (E2) was shown to prevent experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and to produce a novel population of regulatory CD45dimVLA-4+ cells. Although their appearance was dependent upon an elevated hormonal level, E2 was not required for their production, as they also were induced by immunization with Mycobacterium tuberculosis as a component of complete Freund's adjuvant. Materials and Methods: Molecular techniques, including ribonuclease protection assays and quantitative RT-PCR, were used to provide further characterization of CD45dimVLA-4+ cells. Moreover, we determined the developmental requirements of the CD45dimVLA-4+ cells using genetically modified mice and extensive flow cytometry analysis. Results: Characterization of CD45dimVLA-4+ mRNA profile revealed highly elevated levels of CD16, CD44, CCR3, IP-15, and IL-13 transcripts compared with their CD45highVLA-4+ counterparts. Furthermore, we found up-regulation of anti-apoptotic bcl-w and bcl-xl genes and transcripts encoding the TCR and CD8 homodimer. The production of CD45dimVLA-4+ cells was evident in nude mice and in MHC class II- and 2-microglobulin, but not in CD1-deficient mice, suggesting a crucial role for CD1 in their induction.
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Agata Matejuk, Pathology Department, Oregon Health and Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, Oregon 97239-3098, USA