Treg Cell

Regulatory T (Treg) cells are a specialized subpopulation of T cells that act to suppress immune responses, thereby maintaining homeostasis and self-tolerance. Several discrete populations of Treg cells exist including natural CD4+ Treg cells, Th3 cells, Tr1 cells, and CD8+ Treg cells.1 Treg cells have remarkable phenotypic plasticity and can acquire different transcriptional programs in response to a changing environment, notably through cytokine signaling.2

Treg cells have potent immunosuppressive potential and are involved in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance. These cells can downmodulate unwanted actions of autoreactive T-cell clones (activation and clonal expansion) and participate in the induction and maintenance of immune tolerance by recognizing autoantigens that are released from injured tissues. Treg cells are capable of inhibiting T-cell proliferation and cytokine production, thus playing an important role in the prevention of autoimmunity. Hyperresponsiveness to tumor antigens can be attributable to Treg cells and this property can be used for the induction of transplantation tolerance.1

Dysregulation of Treg cell frequency or function leads to autoimmune conditions including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes mellitus, myasthenia gravis, systemic lupus erythematosus, autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. Treg cells are a beneficial target for the investigation of immunopathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and/or prevention of immune disorders.1

​CD: cluster of differentiation; Th3: type 3 T helper; Tr1: type 1 regulatory.


  • 1.

    Kondĕlková K, Vokurková D, Krejsek J, Borská L, Fiala Z, Ctirad A. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 2010;53:73-77.

  • 2.

    Raffin C, Vo LT, Bluestone JA. Nat Rev Immunol. 2020;20:158-172.