On day 9, culture medium was replaced by fresh medium containing anti-CD3 antibody (1 μg/mL). On day 10, lymphocytes were harvested and used for phenotypic, functional analyses or co-culture assays. CD4+CD25− T
cells were fluorescently labeled using carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE) according to manufacturer’s instructions (CellTrace from Molecular Probes/Invitrogen). iTreg cells and autologous CFSE-labeled CD4+ T cells were co-cultured at different ratios for 5 days in the presence of plate-bound anti-CD3 (1 μg/mL), anti-CD28 (2 μg/mL), and IL-2 (100 IU/mL). Proliferation of CFSE-labeled CD4+ T cells was assessed by flow cytometry and data analysis was performed using Diva6 software. For phenotypic analysis, cultured cells were harvested, washed, and incubated in PBS (supplemented with 3% human serum and 0.1% sodium azide) containing optimal dilution selleck chemicals llc of each fluorochrome-conjugated mAb for 25 min at 4°C in the dark. Cells were subsequently washed and fixed with 2% v/v paraformaldehyde (PFA) or proceeded to intracellular staining for TGF-β or IL-10. For intracellular
staining, washed cells were incubated with BD Cytofix/Cytoperm solution for 30 min at 4°C in the dark, washed twice with BD Perm/Wash buffer, and incubated with fluorescent-labeled mAbs diluted in the same buffer for 25 min at this website 4°C in the dark. All mAbs used were pre-titrated on fresh PBMCs Adenosine triphosphate to determine their optimal working dilutions.
Respective isotype controls were used in all experiments. After staining, cells were immediately subjected to measurement in a FACS Canto II flow cytometer. The collected data were analyzed with Diva6 software (both from Becton Dickinson, Heidelberg, Germany). NK cells were activated with IL-2 (100 IU/mL) and co-cultured with control iTreg cells, nTreg cells, or CD4 cells at a ratio of 1:2 (NK cell/T cell). After 36 h, supernatants and cells were harvested. Surface expression of NKG2D and NKp44 on NK cells was assessed, and supernatants were analyzed for IFN-γ by ELISA according to manufacturer’s guidelines (R&D Systems). In some experiments, rh-TGF-β (1 ng/mL) was added to IL-2-activated NK cells. NK cells were activated or not with IL-2 (100 IU/mL) and co-cultured with autologous nTreg cells, iTreg cells, or with TGF-β for 18 h. CD107a FITC and in some experiments Colo699 tumor cells were added for further 6 h to the co-culture system. During the last 5 h, the BD Golgi-Stop was present in the co-culture. At the end, NK cells were stained with CD56-PE as described in the section Flow cytometry and analyzed by flow cytometry. CD107a (LAMP-1) is a marker for NK degranulation and its level of expression correlates with NK cytotoxicity 45. Cytotoxicity was determined in a standard 6-h chromium release assay.