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Hybrid Treg cells: steel frames and plastic exteriors

Regulatory T cells have the remarkable ability to suppress immune responses driven by different types of effector T cells. Two recent studies, documenting important functions for T-bet and IRF4 in regulatory T cells, demonstrate that this ability requires the expression of transcription factors typically associated with effector T cell function.

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Figure 1: Like effector T cells, Treg cells may undergo polarization in the periphery after exiting the thymus.


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Barnes, M., Powrie, F. Hybrid Treg cells: steel frames and plastic exteriors. Nat Immunol 10, 563–564 (2009).

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