Introduction: The immune response is controlled by several inhibitory mechanisms. These mechanisms include regulatory T cells, which exist in multiple classes. Notable among these are Foxp3-expressing regulatory T cells (Treg), NKT cells, and Tr1 cells. Common to these mechanisms are inhibitory cytokines such as interleukin-10 and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). TGF-beta and Foxp3-expressing Treg cells are critical in maintaining self-tolerance and immune homeostasis.
Discussions: The immune suppressive functions of TGF-beta and Treg cells are widely acknowledged and extensively studied. Nonetheless, recent studies revealed the positive roles for TGF-beta and Treg cells in shaping the immune system and the inflammatory responses. In this paper, we will discuss the role of these mechanisms in the control of immunity and autoimmunity and the mechanisms that underlie how these molecules control these responses.