Dietary flavonoid naringenin induces regulatory T cells via an aryl hydrocarbon receptor mediated pathway.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a transcription factor mediating xenobiotic detoxification, plays a considerable role in regulatory T cell (Treg) induction. Tregs regulate the immune system, thus suppressing allergies and autoimmune diseases. This study aims to identify new types of antiallergic dietary factors, with focus on the flavonoids with potential AhR agonistic activity. Among 25 dietary flavonoid samples tested using a reporter assay, 8 showed marked induction of AhR-dependent transcriptional activity. The subsequent T cell proliferation suppression assay identified naringenin as the only sample capable of stimulating Treg induction; notably, this induction was eliminated by cotreatment with AhR antagonists. Indeed, naringenin induced CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs, irrespective of the presence of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), indicating that the conventional TGF-β-dependent signaling pathway might not be involved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wang, H-K; Yeh, C-H; Iwamoto, T; Satsu, H; Shimizu, M; Totsuka, M

Published Date

  • March 7, 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 60 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 2171 - 2178

PubMed ID

  • 22324845

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5118

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/jf204625y


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States