CD4+CD25+ Regulatory T Cells: Origin, Function and Therapeutic Potential

Volume 293 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 179-208

Regulatory T Cells in Experimental Colitis

  • M. GadAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Anatomy, The Panum Institute, The University of Copenhagen

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Induction and maintenance of peripheral tolerance are important mechanisms to maintain the balance of the immune system. Growing evidence indicates that dysregulation of mucosal T cell responses may lead to loss of tolerance to commensal flora and to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Many studies suggest that active suppression of enteroantigen reactive cells mediated by regulatory T cells contributes to the maintenance of natural intestinal immune homeostasis. The use of the multiple animal models has not only improved our understanding of IBD, but also contributed to new suggestions of treatment strategies involving the use of regulatory T cells. The present review summarizes our current knowledge of regulatory T cells and their involvement in experimental IBD. The well-characterized SCID T cell transfer model and the naturally occurring regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells are highlighted.