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Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 Jun;2(6):389-400.

CD4+ CD25+ suppressor T cells: more questions than answers.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Several mechanisms control discrimination between self and non-self, including the thymic deletion of autoreactive T cells and the induction of anergy in the periphery. In addition to these passive mechanisms, evidence has accumulated for the active suppression of autoreactivity by a population of regulatory or suppressor T cells that co-express CD4 and CD25 (the interleukin-2 receptor alpha-chain). CD4+ CD25+ T cells are powerful inhibitors of T-cell activation both in vivo and in vitro. The enhancement of suppressor-cell function might prove useful for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases, whereas the downregulation of these cells might be beneficial for the enhancement of the immunogenicity of vaccines that are specific for tumour antigens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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