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Immunology. 2008 Jan;123(1):11-2.

Special regulatory T cell review: The suppression problem!

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  • 1Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford University, Oxford, UK.


The concept of T-cell mediated suppression evolved more than 30 years ago. At that time it spawned many claims that have not stood the test of time. The rediscovery of suppression phenomena and regulatory T cells over the past 15 years created schizophrenic responses amongst immunologists. Some claimed that the new proponents of suppression were, once again, bringing immunology into disrepute, whilst others have embraced the field with great enthusiasm and novel approaches to clarification. Without faithful repetition of the "old" experiments, it is difficult to establish what was right and what was wrong. Nevertheless, immunologists must now accept that a good number of the old claims were overstated, and reflected poor scientific discipline. "I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke, But here I am to speak what I do know" Shakespeare. Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 2.

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