a Department of Immunology , Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo (USP) , São Paulo , Brazil.
This review addresses the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are essential for maintaining peripheral tolerance and controlling pathogen immunity, in the host response against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, a primary fungal pathogen. A brief introduction on the general features of Treg cells summarizes their main functions, subpopulations, mechanisms of suppression and plasticity. The main aspects of immunity in the diverse forms of the P. brasiliensis infection are presented, as are the few extant studies on the relevance of Treg cells in the control of severity of the human disease. Finally, the influence of Toll-like receptors, Dectin-1, NOD-like receptor P3 (NLRP3), Myeloid differentiation factor-88 (MyD88), as well as the enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) on the expansion and function of Treg cells in a murine model of pulmonary paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is also discussed. It is demonstrated that some of these components are involved in the negative control of Treg cell expansion, whereas others positively trigger the proliferation and activity of these cells. Finally, the studies here summarized highlight the dual role of Treg cells in PCM, which can be protective by controlling excessive immunity and tissue pathology but also deleterious by inhibiting the anti-fungal immunity necessary to control fungal growth and dissemination.
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