Interleukin 2 modulates thymic-derived regulatory T cell epigenetic landscape. Academic Article uri icon


  • Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T (Treg) cells are essential for preventing fatal autoimmunity and safeguard immune homeostasis in vivo. While expression of the transcription factor Foxp3 and IL-2 signals are both required for the development and function of Treg cells, the commitment to the Treg cell lineage occurs during thymic selection upon T cell receptor (TCR) triggering, and precedes the expression of Foxp3. Whether signals beside TCR contribute to establish Treg cell epigenetic and functional identity is still unknown. Here, using a mouse model with reduced IL-2 signaling, we show that IL-2 regulates the positioning of the pioneer factor SATB1 in CD4+ thymocytes and controls genome wide chromatin accessibility of thymic-derived Treg cells. We also show that Treg cells receiving only low IL-2 signals can suppress endogenous but not WT autoreactive T cell responses in vitro and in vivo. Our findings have broad implications for potential therapeutic strategies to reprogram Treg cells in vivo.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 4.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Chorro, L., Suzuki, M., Chin, S. S., Williams, T. M., Snapp, E. L., Odagiu, L., Labrecque, N., & Lauvau, G.

citation count

  • 25

publication date

  • December 2018