, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp 356-361

The role of the FOXP3 transcription factor in the immune regulation of allergic asthma

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Unbalanced immune reactions against allergens are caused by Th2 cells, which are the basis of immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated symptoms of allergy and asthma. Although Th2 cells are essential for allergy, they are not sufficient to cause disease, because regulatory T cells (Tregs) control their activity and expansion. Therefore, Tregs are assumed to play an important role not only in the sensitization but also in established allergic disease under therapy. A key factor of Tregs is FOXP3, which, upon expression, is sufficient to induce regulatory T-cell phenotypes. The initiation and suppressive function of FOXP3 and Tregs in the context of allergic asthma are discussed in this review.