Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play an important role in maintaining immune tolerance and homeostasis by modulating how the immune system is activated. Several studies have documented the critical role of Tregs in suppressing the functions of effector T cells and antigen-presenting cells. Under certain conditions, Tregs can lose their suppressive capability, leading to a compromised immune system. For example, mutations in the Treg transcription factor, Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3), can drive the development of autoimmune diseases in multiple organs within the body. Furthermore, mutations leading to a reduction in the numbers of Tregs or a change in their function facilitate autoimmunity, whereas an overabundance can inhibit anti-tumor and anti-pathogen immunity. This review discusses the characteristics of Tregs and their mechanism of action in select autoimmune skin diseases, transplantation, and skin cancer. We also examine the potential of Tregs-based cellular therapies in autoimmunity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry