Regulatory T cells: mechanisms of differentiation and function

Annu Rev Immunol. 2012;30:531-64. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.25.022106.141623. Epub 2012 Jan 6.

Abstract

The immune system has evolved to mount an effective defense against pathogens and to minimize deleterious immune-mediated inflammation caused by commensal microorganisms, immune responses against self and environmental antigens, and metabolic inflammatory disorders. Regulatory T (Treg) cell-mediated suppression serves as a vital mechanism of negative regulation of immune-mediated inflammation and features prominently in autoimmune and autoinflammatory disorders, allergy, acute and chronic infections, cancer, and metabolic inflammation. The discovery that Foxp3 is the transcription factor that specifies the Treg cell lineage facilitated recent progress in understanding the biology of regulatory T cells. In this review, we discuss cellular and molecular mechanisms in the differentiation and function of these cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeostasis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • MicroRNAs / immunology
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic

Substances

  • Cytokines
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • MicroRNAs
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt