Metabolic control of regulatory T cell development and function

Hu Zeng, Hongbo Chi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

153 Scopus citations


Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) maintain immune tolerance and play an important role in immunological diseases and cancers. Recent studies have revealed an intricate relationship between Treg biology and host and microbial metabolism. Various metabolites or nutrients produced by host and commensal microbes, such as vitamins and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), regulate Treg generation, trafficking, and function. Furthermore, cell intrinsic metabolic programs, orchestrated by mTOR and other metabolic sensors, modulate Foxp3 induction and Treg suppressive activity. Conversely, Tregs are crucial in regulating obesity-associated inflammation and host metabolic balance, and in shaping homeostasis of gut microbiota. We review here the interplay between Tregs and metabolism, with a particular focus on how host, commensal, and cellular metabolism impinge upon Treg homeostasis and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Commensal microbiota
  • MTOR
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity
  • SCFA
  • Vitamin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Metabolic control of regulatory T cell development and function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this