Control of NK cell functions by CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells

Natacha Ralainirina, Aurélie Poli, Tatiana Michel, Linda Poos, Emmanuel Andrès, François Hentges, Jacques Zimmer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


Regulatory T cells (Treg) are key players in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance. As a result of suppressive effects on CD4+ and CD8 + effector T cells, Treg control the adaptive immune system and prevent autoimmunity. In addition, they inhibit B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and monocytes/macrophages. It is interesting that several recent papers show that CD4+CD25+ Treg are also able to inhibit NK cells. Thus, Treg exert their control on immune responses from the onset (triggering of innate immune cells) to the effector phase of adaptive immunity (B and T cell-mediated responses). That Treg inhibit NK cells suggests that their uncontrolled activation might break self-tolerance and induce "innate" autoimmune pathology. Conversely, Treg-mediated suppression of NK cell functions might have negative effects, as these cells are important in defense against infections and cancer. It is conceivable that Treg might dampen efficient activation of NK cells in these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-153
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Inhibition
  • NKG2D
  • Suppression
  • TGF-β


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