Development of thymically derived natural regulatory T cells

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Jan:1183:1-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05129.x.


Natural regulatory T cells (nTregs) are defined by their inherent ability to establish and maintain peripheral self-tolerance. In recent years, the development of nTregs has come under close examination with the advent of Forkhead Box P3 protein (FOXP3)-green fluorescent protein reporter mice that pinpointed the initiation of FOXP3 expression within the thymus. The mechanism and pathway of nTreg development has only recently been studied in detail and to a large degree remains unclear. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of nTreg lineage choice and development from a cellular and intracellular standpoint.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • Antigens, Surface / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation* / genetics
  • Cell Differentiation* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / physiology*
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Thymus Gland / growth & development
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism


  • Antigens, Surface
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell