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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Imprimir: 1040-8401
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v30.i5.30
pages 435-447

Regulatory T-cell Trafficking: From Thymic Development to Tumor-Induced Immune Suppression

Adam Mailloux
Immunology Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL, USA
M. Rita I. Young
Research Service Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center and Departments of Otolaryngology and Medicine Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA


Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have become a priority for many investigators in immunology due to their potent immunosuppressive and tolerogenic effects. While Treg activity is required for normal immune homeostasis, dysregulation of their numbers can induce autoimmunity or aid in the pathogenesis of disease. Therefore, great effort has been made to understand the mechanisms by which Tregs accumulate in different areas of the body. Like other lymphocytes, Tregs migrate in response to a network of chemotactic stimuli involving chemokines, chemokine receptors, integrins, and their corresponding ligands. However, many of these stimuli are exclusive to Tregs, inducing their migration while leaving conventional populations unaffected. It is these selective stimuli that result in increased ratios of Tregs among conventional effector populations, leading to changes in immune suppression and homeostasis. This review explores selective Treg trafficking during thymic Treg development, migration to secondary lymphoid tissues and emigration into the periphery during homeostatic conditions, inflammation, and the tumor microenvironment, placing emphasis on stimuli that selectively recruits Tregs to target locations.

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