Regulatory T-cell therapy: is it ready for the clinic?

Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Apr;5(4):343-9. doi: 10.1038/nri1574.


The identification of suppressor T cells as important regulators of basic processes that are designed to maintain tolerance has opened an important area of potential clinical investigation in autoimmunity, graft-versus-host disease and transplantation. However, the field has been limited by an inability to define the antigenic specificities of these cells and by the small numbers of circulating regulatory T cells. Recently, new methods for expanding polyclonal and antigen-specific regulatory T cells have emerged. This article summarizes efforts to exploit regulatory T-cell therapy for the treatment of immunological diseases and poses the question of when and where regulatory T cells will first impact on clinical diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy* / trends
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*