TGFbeta signalling in control of T-cell-mediated self-reactivity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Jun;7(6):443-53. doi: 10.1038/nri2095.


In the immune system, transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) affects multiple cell lineages by either promoting or opposing their differentiation, survival and proliferation. Understanding the cellular mechanisms of TGFbeta-mediated regulation is complicated due to a broad distribution of TGFbeta receptors on the surface of different immune-cell types. Recent studies using in vivo genetic approaches revealed a critical role for TGFbeta signalling in T cells in restraining fatal autoimmune lesions. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of a role for TGFbeta signalling in the regulation of T-cell differentiation in the thymus and in the periphery, with a particular emphasis on TGFbeta-mediated control of self-reactive T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Smad Proteins / immunology
  • Smad Proteins / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / immunology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • Smad Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta