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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Imprimir: 1040-8401
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v32.i1.40
pages 65-79

Regulation Generation: The Suppressive Functions of Human Regulatory T Cells

Wendy A. Goodman
Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Kevin D. Cooper
Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center; Department of Dermatology, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
Thomas S. McCormick
Department of Dermatology, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio


Proper regulation of immune homeostasis is necessary to limit inflammation and prevent autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases. Many autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis, are driven by vicious cycles of activated T cells that are unable to be suppressed by regulatory T cells. Effective suppression of auto-reactive T cells by regulatory T cells (Treg) is critical for the prevention of spontaneous autoimmune disease. Psoriatic Treg cells have been observed to a defect in their capacity to regulate, which clearly contributes to psoriasis pathogenesis. A challenge for translational research is the development of novel therapeutic interventions for autoimmune diseases that will result in durable remissions. Understanding the mechanism(s) of dysregulated T cell responses in autoimmune disease will allow for the development of future therapeutic strategies that may be employed to specifically target pathogenic, proinflammatory cells. Several reports have demonstrated a pathogenic role for Thl and Thl7 cells in psoriasis as well as other autoimmune diseases. Similarly, several laboratories have independently demonstrated functional defects in regulatory T cells isolated from patients with numerous divergent autoimmune diseases. One primary challenge of research in autoimmune diseases is therefore to restore the balance between chronic T cell activation and impairment of Treg suppressor mechanisms. To this end, it is critical to develop an understanding of the many suppressive mechanisms employed by Treg cells in hopes of developing more targeted therapeutic strategies for Treg-mediated autoimmune diseases.

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