Cytokine signaling in the development and homeostasis of regulatory T cells

Kevin H. Toomer, Thomas R. Malek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Cytokine signaling is indispensable for regulatory T-cell (Treg) development in the thymus, and also influences the homeostasis, phenotypic diversity, and function of Tregs in the periphery. Because Tregs are required for establishment and maintenance of immunological self-tolerance, investigating the role of cytokines in Treg biology carries therapeutic potential in the context of autoimmune disease. This review discusses the potent and diverse influences of interleukin (IL)-2 signaling on the Treg compartment, an area of knowledge that has led to the use of low-dose IL-2 as a therapy to reregulate autoaggressive immune responses. Evidence suggesting Treg-specific impacts of the cytokines transforming growth factor β (TGF-β), IL-7, thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), IL-15, and IL-33 is also presented. Finally, we consider the technical challenges and knowledge limitations that must be overcome to bring other cytokine-based, Treg-targeted therapies into clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbera028597
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cytokine signaling in the development and homeostasis of regulatory T cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this