Curr Opin Immunol 2002 Dec;14(6):771-8
Curotto de Lafaille MA, Lafaille JJ.
Program of Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and Department of Pathology New York University School of Medicine, 540 First Avenue, 10016, New York, NY, USA
Regulatory T cells (also referred to as suppressor T cells) are important components of the homeostasis of the immune system, as impaired regulatory T cell activity can cause autoimmune diseases and atopy.
It is now clear that the phrase 'regulatory T cells' encompasses more than one cell type.
For instance, CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells have received attention due to their immunosuppressive properties in vitro and in vivo, but in several instances it has been shown that CD4(+)CD25(-) T cell populations also contain potent regulatory activity.
Recent progress in the field of regulatory T cells includes the discovery of the role of two tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) family members (GITR and TRANCE-R/RANK) in Treg biology, the improved understanding of the role of co-stimulatory molecules and cytokines IL-10 and IL-2 in the induction and function of Tregs, and the generation of CD25(+) and CD25(-) regulatory T cells in vivo through high-avidity T cell receptor interactions.