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Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2006 Apr;8(2):138-44.

Transforming growth factor-beta: recent advances on its role in immune tolerance.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, Section of Immunobiology, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a key regulator of immune tolerance. In this paper, we will focus on T cells and natural killer (NK) cells, which are directly regulated by TGF-beta in vivo. TGF-beta controls T-cell activation and differentiation, and is involved in the suppressive function and generation of regulatory T cells. Recently, TGF-beta has also been shown to directly inhibit NK cell activity. These studies demonstrate that TGF-beta utilizes multiple mechanisms to ensure immune tolerance, which is critical in a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. We will also discuss recent advances on the role of TGF-beta in immune-mediated diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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