STAT6 controls the number of regulatory T cells in vivo, thereby regulating allergic lung inflammation

Nicolas J. Dorsey, Svetlana P. Chapoval, Elizabeth P. Smith, Jonathan Skupsky, David W. Scott, Achsah D. Keegan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


STAT6 plays a central role in IL-4-mediated allergic responses. Several studies indicate that regulatory T cells (Tregs) can be modulated by IL-4 in vitro. We previously showed that STAT6-/- mice are highly resistant to allergic lung inflammation even when wild-type Th2 effectors were provided and that they have increased numbers of Tregs. However, the role of STAT6 in modulating Tregs in vivo during allergic lung inflammation has not been thoroughly investigated. To examine Treg and STAT6 interaction during allergic inflammation, STAT6-/-, STAT6xRAG2-/-, and RAG2 -/- mice were subjected to OVA sensitization and challenge following adoptive transfer of OVA-specific, wild-type Th2 effectors with or without prior Treg depletion/inactivation, using anti-CD25 (PC61). As expected, STAT6 -/- mice were highly resistant to airway inflammation and remodeling. In contrast, allergic lung inflammation was partially restored in STAT6 -/- mice treated with PC61 to levels observed in STAT6x-RAG2 -/- mice. In some cases, STAT6xRAG2-/- mice were also given natural Tregs along with Th2 effectors. Adoptive transfer of natural Tregs caused a substantial reduction in bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophil composition and suppressed airway remodeling and T cell migration into the lung in STAT6xRAG2-/- mice to levels comparable to those in STAT6 -/- mice. These results demonstrate the STAT6-dependent suppression of Tregs in vivo to promote allergic airway inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1528
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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