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Autoimmun Rev. 2012 Jul;11(9):664-9. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2011.11.017. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Genes, tolerance and systemic autoimmunity.

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Division of Rheumatology, and Pancreatic Research Group, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dept. of Medicine, David Geffen Schoolof Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, CA 90095-1670, USA.


The characterization of functional CD8(+) inhibitory or regulatory T cells and their gene regulation remains a critical challenge in the field of tolerance and autoimmunity. Investigating the genes induced in regulatory cells and the regulatory networks and pathways that underlie mechanisms of immune resistance and prevent apoptosis in the CD8(+) T cell compartment are crucial to understanding tolerance mechanisms in systemic autoimmunity. Little is currently known about the genetic control that governs the ability of CD8(+) Ti or regulatory cells to suppress anti-DNA Ab production in B cells. Silencing genes with siRNA or shRNA and overexpression of genes with lentiviral cDNA transduction are established approaches to identifying and understanding the function of candidate genes in tolerance and immunity. Elucidation of interactions between genes and proteins, and their synergistic effects in establishing cell-cell cross talk, including receptor modulation/antagonism, are essential for delineating the roles of these cells. In this review, we will examine recent reports which describe the modulation of cells from lupus prone mice or lupus patients to confer anti-inflammatory and protective gene expression and novel associated phenotypes. We will highlight recent findings on the role of selected genes induced by peptide tolerance in CD8(+) Ti.

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