Amphiregulin Enhances Regulatory T Cell-Suppressive Function via the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor

D. Zaiss, J. van Loosdregt, A. Gorlani, C. Bekker, A. Gröne, M. Sibilia, P. van Bergen en Henegouwen, R. Roovers, P. Coffer, A. Sijts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is known to be critically involved in tissue development and homeostasis as well as in the pathogenesis of cancer. Here we showed that Foxp3 regulatory T (Treg) cells express EGFR under inflammatory conditions. Stimulation with the EGF-like growth factor Amphiregulin (AREG) markedly enhanced Treg cell function in vitro, and in a colitis and tumor vaccination model we showed that AREG was critical for efficient Treg cell function in vivo. In addition, mast cell-derived AREG fully restored optimal Treg cell function. These findings reveal EGFR as a component in the regulation of local immune responses and establish a link between mast cells and Treg cells. Targeting of this immune regulatory mechanism may contribute to the therapeutic successes of EGFR-targeting treatments in cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalImmunity
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2013

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