Pathogen-sensing and regulatory t Cells: Integrated regulators of immune responses

William E. Paul*, Zvi Grossman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the concept that pathogen-sensing and regulatory T cells (Treg) mutually regulate immune responses to conventional and tumor antigens through countervailing effects on dendritic cells (DC). Normally, conventional CD4 T cells recognizing their cognate antigen presented by a DC will respond only if the DC also receives a signal through its pathogen-sensing/danger/adjuvant recognition systems (the pathogen-sensing triad). However, in the absence of Tregs capable of interacting with the same DC, DCs are competent to present antigens, both foreign and self, even without the stimulation provided by the pathogen-sensing triad. Tregs recognizing an antigen presented by the DC that is also presenting antigen to a conventional CD4 T cell will prevent the activation of the CD4 T-cell responses, but a signal delivered by a member of the pathogen-sensing triad will overcome the inhibitory action of Tregs, thus allowing CD4 T-cell responses to go forward. These considerations take on special meaning for responses to "weak antigens" such as many of the antigens displayed by spontaneous human tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-509
Number of pages7
JournalCancer immunology research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesZIAAI000926


    Dive into the research topics of 'Pathogen-sensing and regulatory t Cells: Integrated regulators of immune responses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this