Immunologic tolerance maintained by CD25+ CD4+ regulatory T cells: their common role in controlling autoimmunity, tumor immunity, and transplantation tolerance

Immunol Rev. 2001 Aug;182:18-32. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-065x.2001.1820102.x.


There is accumulating evidence that T-cell-mediated dominant control of self-reactive T-cells contributes to the maintenance of immunologic self-tolerance and its alteration can cause autoimmune disease. Efforts to delineate such a regulatory T-cell population have revealed that CD25+ cells in the CD4+ population in normal naive animals bear the ability to prevent autoimmune disease in vivo and, upon antigenic stimulation, suppress the activation/proliferation of other T cells in vitro. The CD25+ CD4+ regulatory T cells, which are naturally anergic and suppressive, appear to be produced by the normal thymus as a functionally distinct subpopulation of T cells. They play critical roles not only in preventing autoimmunity but also in controlling tumor immunity and transplantation tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Clonal Anergy / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Self Tolerance / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Transplantation Tolerance / immunology*


  • Receptors, Interleukin-2