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Trends Immunol. 2011 Sep;32(9):420-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2011 Jul 27.

T regulatory cells in childhood asthma.

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Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.


Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways, most commonly driven by immuno-inflammatory responses to ubiquitous airborne antigens. Epidemiological studies have shown that disease is initiated early in life when the immune and respiratory systems are functionally immature and less able to maintain homeostasis in the face of continuous antigen challenge. Here, we examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie initial aeroallergen sensitization and the ensuing regulation of secondary responses to inhaled allergens in the airway mucosa. In particular, we focus on how T-regulatory (Treg) cells influence early asthma initiation and the potential of Treg cells as therapeutic targets for drug development in asthma.

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