Potential role of interleukin-10-secreting regulatory T cells in allergy and asthma

Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Apr;5(4):271-83. doi: 10.1038/nri1589.


Allergic diseases are caused by aberrant T-helper-2 immune responses in susceptible individuals. Both naturally occurring CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells and inducible populations of antigen-specific interleukin-10-secreting regulatory T cells inhibit these inappropriate immune responses in experimental models. This article discusses the evidence that regulatory T-cell function might be impaired in allergic and asthmatic disease and that certain therapeutic regimens might function, at least in part, to promote regulatory T-cell generation. Current research strategies seek to exploit these observations to improve the generation of allergen-specific regulatory T-cell populations with the potential to provide the safe and long-term alleviation of disease symptoms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / drug therapy
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism*
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Th2 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Interleukin-10