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Int Rev Immunol. 2005 May-Aug;24(3-4):211-26.

Regulatory T cells in immunologic self-tolerance and autoimmune disease.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Pathology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Shogoin, Kyoto, Japan.


Naturally arising CD25+ CD4+ regulatory T cells play key roles in the maintenance of immunologic self-tolerance and negative control of various immune responses. The majority, if not all, of them are produced by the normal thymus as a functionally distinct T-cell subpopulation, and their generation is in part developmentally controlled. Genetic abnormality in the development and function of this population can indeed be a cause of autoimmune disease, immunopathology, and allergy in humans. This regulatory population can be exploited to prevent and treat autoimmune disease by strengthening and reestablishing immunologic self-tolerance.

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