Toll-like receptor 2 induced cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 regulates Aspergillus-induced regulatory T-cells with pro-inflammatory characteristics.
Patients with cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, severe asthma, pre-existing pulmonary lesions, and severely immunocompromised patients are susceptible to develop infections with the opportunistic pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, called aspergillosis. Infections in these patients are associated with persistent pro-inflammatory T-helper (TH)2 and TH17 responses. Regulatory T-cells, natural suppressor cells of the immune system, control pro-inflammatory T-cell responses, but can also contribute to disease by shifting to a pro-inflammatory TH17-like phenotype. Such a shift could play an important role in the detrimental immunopathology that is seen in aspergillosis. Our study demonstrates that Aspergillus fumigatus induces regulatory T-cells with a TH17-like phenotype. We also demonstrate that these regulatory T-cells with a pro-inflammatory TH17-like phenotype can be reprogrammed to their