Regulatory T cells and their roles in immune dysregulation and allergy
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- Pellerin, L., Jenks, J.A., Bégin, P. et al. Immunol Res (2014) 58: 358. doi:10.1007/s12026-014-8512-5
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The main function of the immune system is to fight off potential infections, but also to maintain its activity below a level that would trigger self-reactivity. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) such as forkhead box P3+ (FOXP3) Tregs and type 1 regulatory T cells (Tr1) play an essential role in this active process, using several distinct suppressive mechanisms. A wide range of pathologies have been associated with altered Treg cell function. This is best exemplified by the impact of mutations of genes essential for Treg function and the associated autoimmune syndromes. This review summarizes the main features of different subtypes of Tregs and focuses on the clinical implications of their altered function in human studies. More specifically, we discuss abnormalities affecting FOXP3+ Tregs and Tr1 cells that will lead to autoimmune manifestations and/or allergic reactions, and the potential therapeutic use of Tregs.