Immune Netw.  2017 Oct;17(5):276-286. 10.4110/in.2017.17.5.276.

IL-17A-Producing Foxp3⁺ Regulatory T Cells and Human Diseases

  • 1Laboratory of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea.,
  • 2BioMedical Science and Engineering Interdisciplinary Program, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea.


CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ regulatory T (Treg) cells play major roles in immune homeostasis. While CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Treg cells act to suppress other immune effector cells, there is growing evidence that they also produce pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-17A, in inflammatory conditions. The pro-inflammatory cytokine milieu, toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, and specific transcription factors are important for the production of IL-17A by CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Treg cells. In particular, IL-17A-producing CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Treg cells express RORγt, the T helper (Th) 17-specific transcription factor, in addition to Foxp3. IL-17A-producing CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Treg cells are also involved in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Here we review the mechanisms underlying the induction of IL-17A-producing CD4⁺Foxp3⁺ Treg cells and the roles of these cells in human disease.


Regulatory T-cells; IL-17A; Inflammation; Pro-inflammatory cytokine
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