Trafficking of FoxP3+ regulatory T cells: myths and facts
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Fork head box P3 (FoxP3+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) are specialized T cells for the prevention of hyperimmune responses and autoimmunity. Tumors and pathogens can hijack FoxP3+ Tregs to evade host immune responses. There is an increasing body of evidence that trafficking of FoxP3+ Tregs is important for their effective suppression of target cells. Because of their distinctive functions and gene expression phenotype, the migratory behavior of FoxP3+ Tregs has been somewhat mystified. The myths are that they have unique trafficking receptors and migratory behaviors that are different from those of conventional T cells. Another related myth is that FoxP3+ regulatory T cell subsets have a fixed trafficking behavior from the time they are generated in the thymus. Recent progress in trafficking receptors and the migratory behavior of FoxP3+ Tregs are reviewed here and the validity of these myths examined.
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Chang H. Kim, Laboratory of Immunology and Hematopoiesis, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, 725 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA