Cytokine Growth Factor Rev 2006 Feb-Apr;17(1-2):97-106. Epub 2005 Nov 18.
Laboratory of Clinical Immunology, I. Department of Medicine, University of Mainz, Obere Zahlbacher Str. 63, 55131 Mainz, Germany.
TGF-beta is a pleiotropic cytokine with powerful immunosuppressive functions. Mice deficient for TGF-beta1 show a dramatic phenotype with severe multiorgan inflammation and die shortly after birth. Recent investigations have highlighted the role of TGF-beta in suppression of T cell mediated autoimmune inflammation and anti-tumor immunity. In addition to its direct anti-inflammatory effects on T cells, TGF-beta has been implicated as central regulator of regulatory T cells. TGF-beta not only mediates the suppression of effector T cells by Tregs, recent evidence also reveals a role for TGF-beta along with TCR stimulation in the peripheral induction of regulatory T cells from naïve CD4+CD25- cells.