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Authors Mezrich JD, Fechner JH, Zhang X, Johnson BP, Burlingham WJ, Bradfield CA
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Journal J. Immunol. Volume: 185 Issue: 6 Pages: 3190-8
Publish Date 2010 Sep 15
PubMed ID 20720200
PMC ID 2952546

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) has been known to cause immunosuppression after binding dioxin. It has recently been discovered that the receptor may be central to T cell differentiation into FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) versus Th17 cells. In this paper, we demonstrate that kynurenine, the first breakdown product in the IDO-dependent tryptophan degradation pathway, activates the AHR. We furthermore show that this activation leads to AHR-dependent Treg generation. We additionally investigate the dependence of TGF-beta on the AHR for optimal Treg generation, which may be secondary to the upregulation of this receptor that is seen in T cells postexposure to TGF-beta. These results shed light on the relationship of IDO to the generation of Tregs, in addition to highlighting the central importance of the AHR in T cell differentiation. All tissues and cells were derived from mice.

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