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Immunity. 2008 Jul 18;29(1):114-26. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2008.05.010.

Adaptive Foxp3+ regulatory T cell-dependent and -independent control of allergic inflammation.

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Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, The Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine of the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Adaptive Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells develop during induction of mucosal tolerance and after immunization. Large numbers of Foxp3(+) T cells have been found in inflamed tissues. We investigated the role of adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells in mucosal tolerance and in chronic allergic lung inflammation. We used two strains of mice that are devoid of naturally occurring Treg cells; one is capable of generating adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells upon exposure to antigen, whereas the other is deficient in both naturally occurring and adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells. We found that adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells were essential for establishing mucosal tolerance and for suppressing IL-4 production and lymphoid neogenesis in chronic inflammation, whereas IL-5 production and eosinophilia could be controlled by Foxp3-independent, IFN-gamma-dependent mechanisms. Thus, whereas adaptive Foxp3(+) Treg cells regulate sensitization to allergens and the severity of chronic inflammation, IFN-gamma-producing cells can play a beneficial role in inflammatory conditions involving eosinophils.

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