Yonsei Med J.  2019 Feb;60(2):126-131. 10.3349/ymj.2019.60.2.126.

Tumor Necrosis Factor and Regulatory T Cells

Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea. ecshin@kaist.ac.kr
  • 2BioMedical Science and Engineering Interdisciplinary Program, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Korea.

Abstract

CD4⁺CD25⁺FoxP3⁺ regulatory T (Treg) cells play major roles in the maintenance of immune homeostasis. In this review, we comprehensively describe the relationship between tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and Treg cells, focusing on the effects of TNF on Treg cells and on TNF-producing Treg cells. Contradictory results have been reported for the effect of TNF on the suppressive activity of Treg cells. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, TNF has been shown to reduce the suppressive activity of Treg cells. Meanwhile, however, TNF has also been reported to maintain the suppressive activity of Treg cells via a TNFR2-mediated mechanism. In addition, Treg cells have been found to acquire the ability to produce TNF under inflammatory conditions, such as acute viral hepatitis. These TNF-producing Treg cells exhibit T helper 17-like features and hold significance in various human diseases.

Keyword

Tumor necrosis factor; regulatory T cell; inflammation; TNFR2
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