Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Regulatory T Cells

  • Rong-Fu Wang
  • Jinping Zhang
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_5014-2



Regulatory T (Treg) cells are a specialized subpopulation of T cells that are capable of suppressing immune responses and thereby inducing immune tolerance to self and nonself. Suppressive T cells were initially described in the early 1970s and 1980s and their suppressive function was implicated in tumor-induced suppressive immunity. However, due to a lack of phenotypic markers for defining these cells, there was extensive skepticism about their existence in vivo. In 1995, Sakaguchi and colleagues showed that CD25, the interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor α chain, could serve as a phenotypic marker for CD4+ suppressor T cells or CD4+ Treg cells. Over the past few years, several distinct subsets of Treg cells have been identified, which include (i) naturally occurring CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+ Treg cells; (ii) antigen-induced CD4+ Treg cells such as antigen-specific CD4+ CD25+ FoxP3+Treg cells, IL-10-producing Tr1 cells, and TGF-β-producing Th3 cells;...


Treg Cell Suppressive Function Treg Cell Function Treg Cell Population Treg Cell Number 
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See Also

  1. (2012) Cytotoxic T lymphocytes. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1058. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_1501Google Scholar
  2. (2012) Interleukin-2. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1892. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_3097Google Scholar
  3. (2012) T-cell receptor. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 3621. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5701Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Inflammation and EpigeneticsThe Methodist Hospital Research InstituteHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Pathology and Immunology, Center for Cell and Gene TherapyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA