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Upregulated expression of indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase in CHO cells induces apoptosis of competent T cells and increases proportion of Treg cells

Author(s): Sun Jingyan | Yu Jinpu | Li Hui | Yang Lili | Wei Feng | Yu Wenwen | Liu Juntian | Ren Xiubao

Journal: Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research
ISSN 1756-9966

Volume: 30;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 82;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2 | 3-Dioxygenase | breast neoplasms | immune tolerance | CHO Cells | regulatory T-Lymphocytes

Abstract Introduction The inflammatory enzyme indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) participates in immune tolerance and promotes immune escape of IDO+ tumors. A recent hypothesis suggested that IDO may contribute to the differentiation of new T regulatory cells (Tregs) from naive CD4+ T cells. In this study we investigated the role of IDO in induction of immunosuppression in breast cancer by increasing the apoptosis of T cells and the proportion of Tregs. Methods An IDO expression plasmid was constructed and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were stably transfected with human IDO. Purified CD3+ T cells were isolated from the peripheral blood monouclear cells of breast cancer patients. After co-culturing IDO expressing or untransfected (control) CHO cells with T cells, T cells apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry analysis and annexin-V and PI staining. The proportion of the regulatory T cell (Tregs [CD4 + CD25 + CD127-]) subset was measured by flow cytometry analysis. T cells total RNA and cellular protein samples were isolated for detecting Foxp3 gene and protein expression. Results IDO transgenic CHO cells yielded high levels of IDO enzymatic activity, resulting in complete depletion of tryptophan from the culture medium. We found that apoptosis occurred in 79.07 ± 8.13% of CD3+T cells after co-cultured with IDO+ CHO cells for 3 days and the proportion of CD4 + CD25 + CD127- T cells increased from 3.43 ± 1.07% to 8.98 ± 1.88% (P < 0.05) as well. The specific inhibitor of IDO,1-MT efficiently reversed enhancement of T cells apoptosis and amplification of Tregs in vitro. Increased expression of Foxp3, a key molecular marker of Tregs, was confirmed by RT-PCR, real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analysis at the same time. Conclusions These results suggest that IDO helps to create a tolerogenic milieu in breast tumors by directly inducing T cell apoptosis and enhancing Treg-mediated immunosuppression.
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