Adaptive Foxp3+ regulatory T cell-dependent and -independent control of allergic inflammation

Immunity. 2008 Jul 18;29(1):114-26. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.05.010.


Adaptive Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells develop during induction of mucosal tolerance and after immunization. Large numbers of Foxp3(+) T cells have been found in inflamed tissues. We investigated the role of adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells in mucosal tolerance and in chronic allergic lung inflammation. We used two strains of mice that are devoid of naturally occurring Treg cells; one is capable of generating adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells upon exposure to antigen, whereas the other is deficient in both naturally occurring and adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells. We found that adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells were essential for establishing mucosal tolerance and for suppressing IL-4 production and lymphoid neogenesis in chronic inflammation, whereas IL-5 production and eosinophilia could be controlled by Foxp3-independent, IFN-gamma-dependent mechanisms. Thus, whereas adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells regulate sensitization to allergens and the severity of chronic inflammation, IFN-gamma-producing cells can play a beneficial role in inflammatory conditions involving eosinophils.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Mutation
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Respiratory Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxp3 protein, mouse
  • Ovalbumin