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Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 813256, 8 pages
Review Article

Heat Shock Proteins and Regulatory T Cells

1School of Medical Science, Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
2National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
3Queensland Health, Gold Coast Public Health Unit, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
4Faculty of Health Science and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia

Received 2 July 2012; Revised 4 November 2012; Accepted 2 February 2013

Academic Editor: Kamal D. Moudgil

Copyright © 2013 E. W. Brenu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are important molecules required for ideal protein function. Extensive research on the functional properties of HSPs indicates that HSPs may be implicated in a wide range of physiological functions including immune function. In the immune system, HSPs are involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, cytokine release, and apoptosis. Therefore, the ability of the immune system, in particular immune cells, to function optimally and in unison with other physiological systems is in part dependent on signaling transduction processes, including bidirectional communication with HSPs. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are important T cells with suppressive functions and impairments in their function have been associated with a number of autoimmune disorders. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between HSPs and Tregs. The interrelationship between cells and proteins may be important in cellular functions necessary for cell survival and expansion during diseased state.