Treg expression of CIS suppresses allergic airway inflammation through antagonizing an autonomous TH2 program.
Maintenance of regulatory T (Treg) cells is crucial for the regulatory function of Treg cells in immune homeostasis and self-tolerance; however, the detailed underlying mechanisms remain elusive. In the current study, we found that the cytokine suppressor CIS (cytokine induced SH-2 protein) is required for maintenance of Treg cell identity. Mice with Treg-specific Cis-deficiency displayed aggravated experimental allergic asthma, and in adulthood, developed splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy and spontaneous eosinophilic airway inflammation, accompanied by accumulation of effector memory helper T (TH) cells. Cis-deficiency led to the loss of Foxp3 expression and the decrease in suppressive function of Treg cells. Cis-deficient Treg cells expressed TH2 cell signature genes, Gata3, Irf4 and Il4, and excessive interleukin-4-signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (IL-4-STAT6) signals resulted in repressive chromatin modification in the Foxp3 locus and permissive modification in the Il4 loci. In vitro, blockade of IL-4 restored the expression of Foxp3 and the suppressive function of inducible Treg (iTreg) cells. Thus, we identified a novel feedback loop in stabilization of Treg cells and suppression of TH2-type inflammation in a Treg-intrinsic manner.