Regulatory T cells

Definition

Regulatory T cells (TReg cells) are a special subset of T cells that prevent other immune cells from attacking the body’s own tissues and other harmless environmental materials, such as food and commensal organisms. Defects in regulatory T cells cause severe inflammatory disease.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Specialized populations of regulatory T cells inhabit tissues and maintain homeostasis, and assist with repair functions there. Feuerer and colleagues identify a genome-wide DNA-methylation landscape to define this specialized subset of cells.

    • Michael Delacher
    • , Charles D Imbusch
    • , Dieter Weichenhan
    • , Achim Breiling
    • , Agnes Hotz-Wagenblatt
    • , Ulrike Träger
    • , Ann-Cathrin Hofer
    • , Danny Kägebein
    • , Qi Wang
    • , Felix Frauhammer
    • , Jan-Philipp Mallm
    • , Katharina Bauer
    • , Carl Herrmann
    • , Philipp A Lang
    • , Benedikt Brors
    • , Christoph Plass
    •  & Markus Feuerer
  • Reviews |

    This Review considers how forkhead box protein P3 (FOXP3) — the key transcription factor of regulatory T (Treg) cells — is regulated both at the transcriptional level and through post-translational modifications. The authors explain how FOXP3 interacts with other molecules to induce and maintain Treg cell populations, and they discuss the potential of therapeutically targeting FOXP3 in the context of human disease.

    • Ling Lu
    • , Joseph Barbi
    •  & Fan Pan
  • Research | | open

    Obesity is associated with inflammation in adipose tissue, characterized by a shift in local T cell subsets. Here the authors show that loss of MHCII expression on adipocytes increases levels of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells in adipose tissue, which enhances insulin sensitivity.

    • Tuo Deng
    • , Joey Liu
    • , Yanru Deng
    • , Laurie Minze
    • , Xiang Xiao
    • , Valerie Wright
    • , Richeng Yu
    • , Xian C. Li
    • , Alecia Blaszczak
    • , Stephen Bergin
    • , David DiSilvestro
    • , Ryan Judd
    • , David Bradley
    • , Michael Caligiuri
    • , Christopher J. Lyon
    •  & Willa A. Hsueh
  • Research | | open

    IL-10+ Tr1 cells, which do not express stable Foxp3 like conventional Treg cells, are associated with various diseases, but little is known about how their differentiation and function are regulated. Here the authors show that ITK is a central TCR signalling effector of the differentiation and function of Tr1 cells.

    • Weishan Huang
    • , Sabrina Solouki
    • , Nicholas Koylass
    • , Song-Guo Zheng
    •  & Avery August
  • Research | | open

    The protein kinase Lkb1 has been shown to limit conventional T cell activation and pro-inflammatory functions. Here the authors show that Lkb1 also maintains Foxp3 expression and suppressive function in regulatory T (Treg) cells, and that Treg-specific Lkb1-deficient mice develop fatal autoimmune disease.

    • Di Wu
    • , Yuechen Luo
    • , Wei Guo
    • , Qing Niu
    • , Ting Xue
    • , Fei Yang
    • , Xiaolei Sun
    • , Song Chen
    • , Yuanyuan Liu
    • , Jingru Liu
    • , Zhina Sun
    • , Chunxiao Zhao
    • , Huifang Huang
    • , Fang Liao
    • , Zhongchao Han
    • , Dongming Zhou
    • , Yongguang Yang
    • , Guogang Xu
    • , Tao Cheng
    •  & Xiaoming Feng
  • Research | | open

    The transcriptional program activated by Smad2/Smad3 is critical for the induction and function of regulatory T cells. Here the authors show that the expression of Smad3 is modulated by the complementary functions of a methyltransferase Ash1l and an lncRNA lnc-Smad3 on the promoter accessibility of the mouse Smad3 locus.

    • Meng Xia
    • , Juan Liu
    • , Shuxun Liu
    • , Kun Chen
    • , Hongyu Lin
    • , Minghong Jiang
    • , Xiaoqing Xu
    • , Yiquan Xue
    • , Wei Liu
    • , Yan Gu
    • , Xiang Zhang
    • , Zhiqing Li
    • , Lin Yi
    • , Youcun Qian
    • , Chen Zhou
    • , Ru Li
    • , Xuan Zhang
    • , Zhanguo Li
    •  & Xuetao Cao

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