Tissue regulatory T cells and neural repair

Minako Ito, Kyoko Komai, Toshihiro Nakamura, Tanakorn Srirat, Akihiko Yoshimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Inflammation and immune responses after tissue injury play pivotal roles in the pathology, resolution of inflammation, tissue recovery, fibrosis and remodeling. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the cells responsible for suppressing immune responses and can be activated in secondary lymphatic tissues, where they subsequently regulate effector T cell and dendritic cell activation. Recently, Tregs that reside in non-lymphoid tissues, called tissue Tregs, have been shown to exhibit tissue-specific functions that contribute to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and repair. Unlike other tissue Tregs, the role of Tregs in the brain has not been well elucidated because the number of brain Tregs is very small under normal conditions. However, we found that Tregs accumulate in the brain at the chronic phase of ischemic brain injury and control astrogliosis through secretion of a cytokine, amphiregulin (Areg). Brain Tregs resemble other tissue Tregs in many ways but, unlike the other tissue Tregs, brain Tregs express neural-cell-specific genes such as the serotonin receptor (Htr7) and respond to serotonin. Administering serotonin or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in an experimental mouse model of stroke increases the number of brain Tregs and ameliorates neurological symptoms. Knowledge of brain Tregs will contribute to the understanding of various types of neuroinflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalInternational immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 19 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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