Inhibition of the allergic response by regulatory T cells

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Purpose of reviewAllergic diseases are caused by the overdevelopment of T-helper type 2 biased immune responses in susceptible individuals. A number of recent studies indicate that regulatory T cells play an important role in controlling such T-helper type 2 biased responses not only in animal models, but in humans as well, and these will be reviewed in this article.Recent findingsA family of regulatory cells appears to be involved in regulating allergies. Both naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells and inducible forms of antigen-specific regulatory T cells, both expressing the transcription factor foxp3, have been shown to inhibit the inappropriate immune responses involved in allergic diseases. Impaired expansion of natural or adaptive regulatory T cells is hypothesized to lead to the development of allergy, and treatment to induce allergen-specific regulatory T cells could provide curative therapies for allergy and asthma.SummaryAllergen-specific regulatory T cells play an important role in controlling the development of allergy and asthma.

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