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Regulatory T (T reg) cells exert powerful down-modulatory effects on immune responses, but it is not known how they act in vivo. Using intravital two-photon laser scanning microscopy we determined that, in the absence of T reg cells, the locomotion of autoantigen-specific T cells inside lymph nodes is decreased, and the contacts between T cells and antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DCs) are of longer duration. Thus, T reg cells can exert an early effect on immune responses by attenuating the establishment of stable contacts during priming of naive T cells by DCs.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of experimental medicine

Publication Date





505 - 511


Molecular Pathogenesis Program, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Dendritic Cells, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Animals, Mice, Transgenic, Mice, Autoantigens, Microscopy, Confocal, Cell Adhesion, Cell Communication, Cell Movement, Antigen Presentation, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory