A rare subset of skin-tropic regulatory T cells expressing Il10/Gzmb inhibits the cutaneous immune response

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Foxp3[+] regulatory T cells (Tregs) migrating from the skin to the draining lymph node (dLN) have a strong immunosuppressive effect on the cutaneous immune response. However, the subpopulations responsible for their inhibitory function remain unclear. We investigated single-cell gene expression heterogeneity in Tregs from the dLN of inflamed skin in a contact hypersensitivity model. The immunosuppressive genes Ctla4 and Tgfb1 were expressed in the majority of Tregs. Although Il10-expressing Tregs were rare, unexpectedly, the majority of Il10-expressing Tregs co-expressed Gzmb and displayed Th1-skewing. Single-cell profiling revealed that CD43[+]CCR5[+] Tregs represented the main subset within the Il10/Gzmb-expressing cell population in the dLN. Moreover, CD43[+] CCR5[+] CXCR3[−] Tregs expressed skin-tropic chemokine receptors, were preferentially retained in inflamed skin and downregulated the cutaneous immune response. The identification of a rare Treg subset co-expressing multiple immunosuppressive molecules and having tissue-remaining capacity offers a novel strategy for the control of skin inflammatory responses.


  • Scientific Reports

    Scientific Reports (6), 2016-10-19

    Springer Nature


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