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Scand J Immunol. 2010 Sep;72(3):173-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2010.02432.x.

Effector and regulatory T-cell subsets in autoimmunity and tissue inflammation.

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Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Many autoimmune diseases are driven by self-reactive T helper cells. Until recently, organ-specific autoimmune diseases were primarily associated with Th1 cells but not Th2 cells. However, the discovery of a number of new effector T-cell subsets, like Th17 and Th9 cells, and regulatory T cells, like Tregs and Tr1 cells, has changed the way we view and understand autoimmunity at cellular and molecular levels. In recent years, IL-17-producing Th17 cells have emerged as major players in autoimmunity. The complicated relationship between Th1 and Th17 cells, as well as the intricate balance between Tregs and Th17 cells, provides a basis for understanding the immunological mechanisms that induce and regulate autoimmunity. Here, we give an overview of the interplay between different effector T-cell subsets and regulatory T-cell subsets, and how they contribute to the development of autoimmunity and tissue inflammation.

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