Mechanisms of impaired regulation by CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) regulatory T cells in human autoimmune diseases

Nat Rev Immunol. 2010 Dec;10(12):849-59. doi: 10.1038/nri2889.


A lack of regulatory T (T(Reg)) cells that express CD4, CD25 and forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) results in severe autoimmunity in both mice and humans. Since the discovery of T(Reg) cells, there has been intense investigation aimed at determining how they protect an organism from autoimmunity and whether defects in their number or function contribute to the development of autoimmunity in model systems. The next phase of investigation - that is, to define the role that defects in T(Reg) cells have in human autoimmunity - is now underway. This Review summarizes our progress so far towards understanding the role of CD4(+)CD25(+)FOXP3(+) T(Reg) cells in human autoimmune diseases and the impact that this knowledge might have on the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy
  • CD4 Antigens / metabolism
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit