Topic Highlight
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 21, 2016; 22(7): 2195-2205
Published online Feb 21, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i7.2195
Role of regulatory T cell in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease
Akiko Yamada, Rieko Arakaki, Masako Saito, Takaaki Tsunematsu, Yasusei Kudo, Naozumi Ishimaru
Akiko Yamada, Rieko Arakaki, Masako Saito, Takaaki Tsunematsu, Yasusei Kudo, Naozumi Ishimaru, Department of Oral Molecular Pathology, Tokushima University Graduate School, Tokushima 770-8504, Japan
Author contributions: Yamada A, Arakaki R, Saito M, Tsunematsu T, Kudo Y and Ishimaru N analyzed the literature and wrote a paper.
Supported by Scientific Research No. 24659839 and No. 24689068 from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sport, and Culture of Japan.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors have no conflict of interest to report.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Naozumi Ishimaru, DDS, PhD, Professor, Department of Oral Molecular Pathology, Tokushima University Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, Tokushima 770-8504, Japan.
Telephone: +81-88-6337464 Fax: +81-88-6337464
Received: April 28, 2015
Peer-review started: May 5, 2015
First decision: October 14, 2015
Revised: November 11, 2015
Accepted: December 8, 2015
Article in press: December 8, 2015
Published online: February 21, 2016

Regulatory T (Treg) cells play key roles in various immune responses. For example, Treg cells contribute to the complex pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis during onset or development of that disease. Many animal models of IBD have been used to investigate factors such as pathogenic cytokines, pathogenic bacteria, and T-cell functions, including those of Treg cells. In addition, analyses of patients with IBD facilitate our understanding of the precise mechanism of IBD. This review article focuses on the role of Treg cells and outlines the pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies of IBD based on previous reports.

Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease, Regulatory T cell, Animal model, Therapy

Core tip: We review the types and functions of regulatory CD4+ T cells (Treg cells) and describe their roles in the pathologies of the inflammatory bowel diseases, i.e., Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We have paid particular attention to the use of animal models and human studies to elucidate the mechanisms by which Treg cells influence these diseases and have provided an overview of the potential uses of these cells in therapeutic strategies.