Phenotypical and functional specialization of FOXP3+ regulatory T cells

Nat Rev Immunol. 2011 Feb;11(2):119-30. doi: 10.1038/nri2916.


Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3)(+) regulatory T (T(Reg)) cells prevent autoimmune disease, maintain immune homeostasis and modulate immune responses during infection. To accomplish these tasks, T(Reg) cell activity is precisely controlled, and this requires T(Reg) cells to alter their migratory, functional and homeostatic properties in response to specific cues in the immune environment. We review progress in understanding the diversity of T(Reg) cells, T(Reg) cell function in different anatomical and inflammatory settings, and the influence of the immune environment on T(Reg) cell activity. We also consider how these factors affect immune-mediated disease in the contexts of infection, autoimmunity, cancer and transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Movement
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Active*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • FOXP3 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors