Early studies described CD69 as a leukocyte activation marker, and suggested its involvement in the activation of different leukocyte subsets as well as in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation. However, recent investigations have showed that CD69 knockout mice exhibit an enhanced or reduced susceptibility to different experimental models of inflammatory diseases, including those mediated by T helper 17 (Th17) lymphocytes. In this regard, the expression of CD69, both in Th17 lymphocytes and by a subset of regulatory T cells, has an important role in the control of the immune response and the inflammatory phenomenon. Therefore, different evidence indicates that CD69 exerts a complex immunoregulatory role in humans, and that it could be considered as a target molecule for the therapy of immune-mediated diseases.
Keywords: CD69; Th17 lymphocytes; Treg lymphocytes; immunoregulation; inflammatory diseases.
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