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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2005 Sep;5 Suppl 1:S73-81.

Resetting the functional capacity of regulatory T cells: a novel immunotherapeutic strategy to promote immune tolerance.

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  • 1Faculté René Descartes Paris 5, INSERM U580, Hôpital Necker, 161 Rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France.


Over the last few years, there has been a re-emergence of the concept of suppressor/regulatory T cells among the central players of immune mechanisms controlling a wide variety of immune responses from physiological autoreactivity (i.e., response to self-antigens) to responses to transplants, tumours and infectious antigens. Regulatory T cells are diverse in their phenotypes, antigen specificity, mode of action and immunopathological relevance. This review briefly summarises studies from the authors' group showing that specialised subsets of regulatory T cells are instrumental in the control of autoimmune diseases and more specifically of Type 1 diabetes. In addition, this review will provide evidence supporting the notion that CD3-specific monoclonal antibodies are representatives of a new category of immunotherapeutic agents that possess the unique capacity to promote immunological tolerance (an antigen-specific unresponsiveness in the absence of long-term generalised immunosuppression) through their ability to induce immunoregulatory T cells.

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