Thymus-derived regulatory T cell development is regulated by C-type-lectin-mediated BIC/microRNA 155 expression

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Thymus-derived regulatory T (tTreg) cells are key to preventing autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms involved in their development remain unsolved. Here, we show that the C-type lectin receptor CD69 controls tTreg cell development and peripheral Treg cell homeostasis through the regulation of BIC/microRNA 155 (miR-155) and its target, suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS-1). Using Foxp3-mRFP/ or Foxp3-mRFP/ reporter mice and short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated silencing and miR-155 transfection approaches, we found that CD69 deficiency impaired the signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) pathway in Foxp3 cells. This results in BIC/miR-155 inhibition, increased SOCS-1 expression, and severely impaired tTreg cell development in embryos, adults, and Rag2 γc hematopoietic chimeras reconstituted with stem cells. Accordingly, mice have an impaired development of CD69 tTreg cells and overexpression of the miR-155-induced CD69 pathway, suggesting that both molecules might be concomitantly activated in a positive-feedback loop. Moreover, -inducible CD25 Treg (iTreg) cell development is inhibited in γ/ mice. Our data highlight the contribution of CD69 as a nonredundant key regulator of BIC/miR-155-dependent Treg cell development and homeostasis.

Journal details

Volume 37
Issue number 9
Pages e00341-16
Available online
Publication date