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Immunol Invest. 2007;36(5-6):607-28.

Assessing the in vitro suppressive capacity of regulatory T cells.

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Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.


Regulatory T cells (Treg) play a vital role in controlling peripheral immune responses in order to prevent autoimmunity and control inflammation. Altered Treg activities have been associated with the pathogenesis of multiple disorders including autoimmunity, allergy, cancer, and infection with persistent pathogens. As such, a great deal of interest has recently been directed towards developing additional tools and methods to better understand the mechanisms of suppression employed by Treg. The in vitro suppression assay has emerged as a valuable means by which to assess the functional capacity and activity of Treg. In this review, we summarize the merits and limitations of the various in vitro assays that have been utilized to assess Treg activity and present a novel two color proliferation assay that allows simultaneous monitoring of both regulatory and effector T cell activity. As further immunomodulatory therapies are explored, the need for additional methodologies to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune regulation conferred by Treg will play an increasingly important role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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