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Curr Opin Immunol. 2002 Dec;14(6):771-8.

CD4(+) regulatory T cells in autoimmunity and allergy.

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Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and Department of Pathology New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Regulatory T cells (also referred to as suppressor T cells) are important components of the homeostasis of the immune system, as impaired regulatory T cell activity can cause autoimmune diseases and atopy. It is now clear that the phrase 'regulatory T cells' encompasses more than one cell type. For instance, CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells have received attention due to their immunosuppressive properties in vitro and in vivo, but in several instances it has been shown that CD4(+)CD25(-) T cell populations also contain potent regulatory activity. Recent progress in the field of regulatory T cells includes the discovery of the role of two tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family members (GITR and TRANCE-R/RANK) in Treg biology, the improved understanding of the role of co-stimulatory molecules and cytokines IL-10 and IL-2 in the induction and function of Tregs, and the generation of CD25(+) and CD25(-) regulatory T cells in vivo through high-avidity T cell receptor interactions.

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