CD4+ regulatory T cells (TREG) are important contributors to the induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance. It is now becoming evident that this heterogeneous population consists of naturally occurring and induced CD4+ TREG cells that share between themselves key immunoregulatory characteristics. Their phenotype and function often relies on the expression of Foxp3 transcription factor (TF) and the presence of the immunomodulating cytokine TGF-β 1. The interdependence of TGF-β 1 and Foxp3 in the induction and maintenance of regulatory T cell networks is gradually being elucidated, shedding new light on peripheral tolerance. Thus, comprehension and delimitation of those processes predict the development of novel therapies for the treatment of infectious and autoimmune diseases, cancer and graft rejection.
Keywords: CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells, Foxp3, TGF-β1, IL-10, tolerance
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