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Vaccine. 2014 Sep 8;32(40):5149-55. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.07.052. Epub 2014 Jul 25.

A role for impaired regulatory T cell function in adverse responses to aluminum adjuvant-containing vaccines in genetically susceptible individuals.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.


Regulatory T cells play a critical role in the immune response to vaccination, but there is only a limited understanding of the response of regulatory T cells to aluminum adjuvants and the vaccines that contain them. Available studies in animal models show that although induced T regulatory cells may be induced concomitantly with effector T cells following aluminum-adjuvanted vaccination, they are unable to protect against sensitization, suggesting that under the Th2 immune-stimulating effects of aluminum adjuvants, Treg cells may be functionally compromised. Allergic diseases are characterized by immune dysregulation, with increases in IL-4 and IL-6, both of which exert negative effects on Treg function. For individuals with a genetic predisposition, the beneficial influence of adjuvants on immune responsiveness may be accompanied by immune dysregulation, leading to allergic diseases. This review examines aspects of the regulatory T cell response to aluminum-adjuvanted immunization and possible genetic susceptibility factors related to that response.


Allergy; Aluminum; Asthma; Treg; Vaccination; iTreg; nTreg

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