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Regulation of FoxP3+ Regulatory T Cells and Th17 Cells by Retinoids

Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2008/416910
  • Review Article


Vitamin A has both positive and negative regulatory functions in the immune system. While vitamin A is required for normal formation of immune cells and epithelial cell barriers, vitamin A deficiency can lead to increased inflammatory responses and tissue damage. The mechanism with which vitamin A and its metabolites such as retinoids negatively regulate inflammatory responses has not been clearly defined. Recently, it has been established that retinoids promote the generation of immune-suppressive FoxP3+ regulatory T cells while they suppress the T cell differentiation into inflammatory Th17 cells in the periphery such as intestine. These novel functions of retinoids provide a potentially important immune regulatory mechanism. In this review, we discuss the functions of retinoids in the development of the FoxP3+ cells and Th17 cells, the phenotype and functions of retinoid-induced FoxP3+ T cells, and the impact of retinoid-induced FoxP3+ T cells on the immune tolerance.

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