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Trends Microbiol. 2006 Apr;14(4):183-9. Epub 2006 Mar 6.

Protective tolerance to fungi: the role of IL-10 and tryptophan catabolism.

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Microbiology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Perugia, Via del Giochetto, 06126 Perugia, Italy.


The pro-inflammatory-anti-inflammatory signaling balance is required for successful host-fungus interactions. The occurrence and interference of regulatory T (T-reg) cells in fungal infections offers a valuable framework for events that occur at the host-fungus interface. Control of both the class and magnitude of the immune response might confer an evolutionary advantage whereby the host effectively fights infection but limits collateral immunopathology. Alternatively, fungus-induced immunosuppression could be a powerful immunoevasion strategy for the invading pathogen. Discovery of T-reg cells as a source of IL-10 might contribute to a better understanding of the opposing functions and variable levels of production of this prototypic immunoregulatory cytokine in fungal infections and inflammatory diseases. T-reg cells, however, might also represent an additional mechanistic level at which host responses are subverted by fungi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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