ABSTRACT: Recently, a mechanism of negative regulation of immune responses by a specialized population of so-called regulatory T cells (Tregs) has become a focus of intense investigation. Through the discovery of transcription factor Foxp3 as a central molecular determinant of Tregs differentiation and function, the complex biology of these cells, including maintenance of immunological tolerance to "self" and regulation of immune responses to pathogens, commensals, and tumors, has become the focus of intense investigation. The ability to control the infection and to delay the progression of the infection to AIDS and/or death is probably regulated by a balance between host factors, such as immunologic response and viral factors. Different rates of disease progression among HIV-1 infected individuals have been observed. In this context, Tregs may play an important role in the immunopathology of HIV-1 infection due to their potent suppressive activity of both T cell activation and effector function. In this review, we present the molecular and immunological aspects of Tregs in the HIV system and the association between Tregs and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Current HIV research 03/2010; 8(4):340-6. · 1.98 Impact Factor