Am J Clin Exp Immunol 2012;1(2):166-178

Review Article
Regulatory T cells and regulation of allergic airway disease

Helen Martin, Christian Taube

II. Department of Medicine, University Hospital Mainz, Mainz, Germany; Department of Pulmonology, Leiden University
Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands

Received October 24, 2012; Accepted November 12, 2012; Epub November 15, 2012; Published November 30, 2012

Abstract: Diseases like asthma have dramatically increased in the last decades. The reasons for the rising prevalence
are still controversially discussed. Besides the genetic predisposition a number of different causes are hypnotized to
affect the increase of allergies. These include the hygiene hypothesis as well as changes in intestinal microbiota.
Allergic airway inflammation is driven by T cells but it has become clear that tolerance and also suppression of allergic
inflammation are mediated by so called regulatory T cells (Tregs). Indeed naturally occurring Treg as well as induced
Tregs have been shown to suppress allergic airway disease. Indeed, the effectiveness of different therapeutic strategies
(e.g. allergen immunotherapy) are mediated via Tregs. In addition, several Treg based approaches have been shown to
effectively suppress allergic airway disease in different models. However, more research is needed to explore these
potentially interesting approaches for the treatment of human disease. (AJCEI1210004).

Keywords: Allergy, asthma, inflammation, regulatory T cell, suppression

Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Christian Taube
Department of Pulmonology
Leiden University Medical Center Albinusdreef 2
P.O. Box 9600, 2300, RC Leiden, The Netherlands.
Tel: +31 71 5262950; Fax: + 31 71 5266927
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