Mechanisms underlying the induction of regulatory T cells and its relevance in the adaptive immune response in parasitic infections

Int J Biol Sci. 2011;7(9):1412-26. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.7.1412. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


To fulfill its function, the immune system must detect and interpret a wide variety of signals and adjust the magnitude, duration, and specific traits of each response during the complex host-parasite relationships in parasitic infections. Inflammation must be tightly regulated since uncontrolled inflammation may be as destructive as the triggering stimulus and leads to immune-mediated tissue injury. During recent years, increasing evidence points to regulatory T cells (Tregs) as key anti-inflammatory cells, critically involved in limiting the inflammatory response. Herein, we review the published information on the induction of Tregs and summarize the most recent findings on Treg generation in parasitic diseases.

Keywords: Leishmania; Schistosoma; Trypanosoma; cytokines; dendritic cell; immune response; inflammation; malaria; nematodes.; parasitic infections; regulation; regulatory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Humans
  • Malaria / immunology
  • Malaria / metabolism
  • Protozoan Infections
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism


  • Cytokines