Regulatory T cells and immune regulation of allergic diseases: roles of IL-10 and TGF-beta

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Palomares O., Martin-Fontecha M., Lauener R., Traidl-Hoffmann C., Cavkaytar O., Akdis M., ...More

GENES AND IMMUNITY, vol.15, no.8, pp.511-520, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/gene.2014.45
  • Journal Name: GENES AND IMMUNITY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.511-520
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


The prevalence of allergic diseases has significantly increased in industrialized countries. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) remains as the only curative treatment. The knowledge about the mechanisms underlying healthy immune responses to allergens, the development of allergic reactions and restoration of appropriate immune responses to allergens has significantly improved over the last decades. It is now well-accepted that the generation and maintenance of functional allergen-specific regulatory T (Treg) cells and regulatory B (Breg) cells are essential for healthy immune responses to environmental proteins and successful AIT. Treg cells comprise different subsets of T cells with suppressive capacity, which control the development and maintenance of allergic diseases by various ways of action. Molecular mechanisms of generation of Treg cells, the identification of novel immunological organs, where this might occur in vivo, such as tonsils, and related epigenetic mechanisms are starting to be deciphered. The key role played by the suppressor cytokines interleukin (IL)-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta produced by functional Treg cells during the generation of immune tolerance to allergens is now well established. Treg and Breg cells together have a role in suppression of IgE and induction of IgG4 isotype allergen-specific antibodies particularly mediated by IL-10. Other cell types such as subsets of dendritic cells, NK-T cells and natural killer cells producing high levels of IL-10 may also contribute to the generation of healthy immune responses to allergens. In conclusion, better understanding of the immune regulatory mechanisms operating at different stages of allergic diseases will significantly help the development of better diagnostic and predictive biomarkers and therapeutic interventions.