Regulated Regulation in Immune Responses

Science's STKE  30 Aug 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 299, pp. tw312
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2992005tw312

The activity of regulatory T cells (T-reg) is responsible for controlling aberrant immune responses and autoimmunity, but these cells represent a potential barrier to certain types of therapeutic manipulation, such as in cancer immunotherapy. Peng et al. provide evidence that part of human T-reg control may be mediated directly by an innate signaling protein. Clones of human T-reg, as well as isolated naturally occurring T-reg cells, expressed Toll-like receptor (TLR) 8. Ligands that could activate this receptor reversed the suppressive activity of these cells in culture, as well as in a mouse tumor model. Control over T-reg activity by TLR signals may open new avenues for inhibiting unwanted immune suppression during cancer immunotherapy.

G. Peng, Z. Guo, Y. Kiniwa, K. s. Voo, W. Peng, T. Fu, D. Y. Wang, Y. Li, H. Y. Wang, R.-F. Wang, Toll-like receptor 8-mediated reversal of CD4+ regulatory T cell function. Science 309, 1380-1384 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]