TGF-beta: a master of all T cell trades

Cell. 2008 Aug 8;134(3):392-404. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.07.025.


A functional adaptive immune system depends on a diverse and self-tolerant population of T lymphocytes that are generated in the thymus and maintained in the peripheral lymphoid organs. Recent studies have defined the cytokine transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) as a critical regulator of thymic T cell development as well as a crucial player in peripheral T cell homeostasis, tolerance to self antigens, and T cell differentiation during the immune response. The unique mechanism of TGF-beta activation and the plasticity of TGF-beta signaling create a stage for TGF-beta to integrate signals from multiple cell types and environmental cues to regulate T cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / immunology*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta