Purpose of review: To summarize recent progress in our understanding of immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) and IPEX-related disorders.
Recent findings: A number of Mendelian disorders of immune dysregulation and autoimmunity have been noted to result from defects in T regulatory cell, development and function. The best characterized of these is IPEX, resulting from mutations affecting FOXP3. A number of other gene defects that affect T regulatory cell function also give rise to IPEX-related phenotypes, including loss-of-function mutations in CD25, STAT5b and ITCH. Recent progress includes the identification of gain-of-function mutations in STAT1 as a cause of an IPEX-like disease, emerging FOXP3 genotype/phenotype relationships in IPEX, and the elucidation of a role for the microbiota in the immune dysregulation associated with regulatory T cell deficiency.
Summary: An expanding spectrum of genetic defects that compromise T regulatory cell function underlies human disorders of immune dysregulation and autoimmunity. Collectively, these disorders offer novel insights into pathways of peripheral tolerance and their disruption in autoimmunity.