The aim of this study was to analyze whether regulatory CD4+CD25+ T lymphocytes exist and function normally in patients with atopic asthma. Our data showed that a significant increase in CD4+CD25+ cell numbers was seen in atopic asthmatics during acute exacerbation, but not in those stable asthmatics, atopic nonasthmatics, and normal subjects. The mean inhibition values of the proliferation response of CD4+CD25- cells by CD4+CD25+ cells from normal controls and asthmatics were almost the same. There was no difference in inhibitory effects on both Th1 and Th2 cytokine production of CD4+CD25- cells by CD4+CD25+ cells in the two groups. These data demonstrated that although CD4+CD25+ cells increase in atopic asthma during exacerbation, these regulatory T cells appear to function normally with regard to suppression of T-cell proliferation as well as Th1-Th2 cytokine production.