The aryl hydrocarbon receptor: a molecular pathway for the environmental control of the immune response


Correspondence: Francisco J. Quintana, Center for Neurologic Diseases, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Email:

Senior author: Francisco J. Quintana


Environmental factors have significant effects on the development of autoimmune diseases. The ligand-activated transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is controlled by endogenous and environmental small molecules. Hence, AHR provides a molecular pathway by which endogenous and environmental signals can influence the immune response and the development of autoimmune diseases. AHR also provides a target for therapeutic intervention in immune-mediated disorders. In this review, we discuss the role of AHR in the regulation of T-cell differentiation and autoimmunity.