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Semin Immunol DOI:10.1016/j.smim.2013.10.009

The plasticity of human Treg and Th17 cells and its role in autoimmunity.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKleinewietfeld, M, Hafler, DA
JournalSemin Immunol
Date Published2013 Nov 15
KeywordsAnimals, Autoimmunity, Cell Communication, Humans, Multiple Sclerosis, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory, Th17 Cells

CD4(+) T helper cells are a central element of the adaptive immune system. They protect the organism against a wide range of pathogens and are able to initiate and control many immune reactions in combination with other cells of the adaptive and the innate immune system. Starting from a naive cell, CD4(+) T cells can differentiate into various effector cell populations with specialized function. This subset specific differentiation depends on numerous signals and the strength of stimulation. However, recent data have shown that differentiated CD4(+) T cell subpopulations display a high grade of plasticity and that their initial differentiation is not an endpoint of T cell development. In particular, FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (Treg) and Th17 effector T cells demonstrate a high grade of plasticity, which allow a functional adaptation to various physiological situations during an immune response. However, the plasticity of Treg and Th17 cells might also be a critical factor for autoimmune disease. Here we discuss the recent developments in CD4(+) T cell plasticity with a focus on Treg and Th17 cells and its role in human autoimmune disease, in particular multiple sclerosis (MS).


Alternate JournalSemin. Immunol.
PubMed ID24211039
PubMed Central IDPMC3905679
Grant ListU19 AI070352 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI091568 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R37 NS024247 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
P01 AI039671 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
P01 AI045757 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
U19 AI046130 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States