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Table 1 Comparison of the phenotype of conventional naïve CD4+ T cells and CD4+ regulatory cells (TR)

From: A paragon of self-tolerance: CD25+CD4+regulatory T cells and the control of immune responses

Conventional naïve helper T cell Natural regulatory T cell (TR)
Foxp3 - Foxp3 +
CD5low, CD11alow, CD25low, CD38low, CD44low, CD45RBhigh, CD54low, CD103εlow, GITRlow CD5high, CD11ahigh, CD25high, CD38high, CD44high, CD45RBlow, CD54high, CD103high, GITRhigh
About 90–95% of splenic CD4+ T cells About 5–10% of splenic CD4+ T cells
Responsive to conventional T cell stimuli Anergic to conventional T cell stimuli
Non-suppressive Suppressive
  1. Many of the distinctions are not absolute; for instance, activated non-regulatory effector T cells express cell surface markers with a pattern similar to that of TR cells, so such discrimination is possible only with constitutive expression. Currently, expression of Foxp3 seems to be the most accurate marker for TR cells because this does not vary with the activation state.