Regulatory T cells in transplantation tolerance

Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Mar;3(3):199-210. doi: 10.1038/nri1027.


The identification and characterization of regulatory T (T(Reg)) cells that can control immune responsiveness to alloantigens have opened up exciting opportunities for new therapies in transplantation. After exposure to alloantigens in vivo, alloantigen-specific immunoregulatory activity is enriched in a population of CD4+ T cells that express high levels of CD25. In vivo, common mechanisms seem to underpin the activity of CD4+CD25+ T(Reg) cells in both naive and manipulated hosts. However, the origin, allorecognition properties and molecular basis for the suppressive activity of CD4+CD25+ T(Reg) cells, as well as their relationship to other populations of regulatory cells that exist after transplantation, remain a matter of debate..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Humans
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / immunology
  • Species Specificity
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Transplantation Immunology*
  • Transplantation Tolerance / immunology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Isoantigens
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2