The aryl hydrocarbon receptor: a molecular pathway for the environmental control of the immune response

Immunology. 2013 Mar;138(3):183-9. doi: 10.1111/imm.12046.


Environmental factors have significant effects on the development of autoimmune diseases. The ligand-activated transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is controlled by endogenous and environmental small molecules. Hence, AHR provides a molecular pathway by which endogenous and environmental signals can influence the immune response and the development of autoimmune diseases. AHR also provides a target for therapeutic intervention in immune-mediated disorders. In this review, we discuss the role of AHR in the regulation of T-cell differentiation and autoimmunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / metabolism
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / immunology
  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon