Guarding the immune system: suppression of autoimmunity by CD4+CD25+ immunoregulatory T cells

Immunol Cell Biol. 2006 Dec;84(6):487-501. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1711.2006.01471.x. Epub 2006 Sep 5.


CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ T cells (CD25+ T regulatory [Treg] cells) are a naturally occurring suppressor T-cell population that regulates a wide variety of immune responses. A major function of CD25+ Treg cells is to inhibit the activity of self-reactive T cells that can potentially cause autoimmune disease. This review examines the recent advances in CD25+ Treg cell biology, with particular focus on the thymic and peripheral development of CD25+ Treg cells, the signals that promote their expansion and maintenance in the periphery and the mechanism by which they mediate their suppressor activity in peripheral lymphoid tissues. An understanding of these issues is likely to facilitate the development of CD25+ Treg-cell-based therapies for the treatment of autoimmune disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / physiology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*


  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit