CD3-specific antibodies: a portal to the treatment of autoimmunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Aug;7(8):622-32. doi: 10.1038/nri2134. Epub 2007 Jul 20.


Targeted immunotherapies hold great promise for the treatment and cure of autoimmune diseases. The efficacy of CD3-specific monoclonal antibody therapy in mice and humans stems from its ability to re-establish immune homeostasis in treated individuals. This occurs through modulation of the T-cell receptor (TCR)-CD3 complex (also termed antigenic modulation) and/or induction of apoptosis of activated autoreactive T cells, which leaves behind 'space' for homeostatic reconstitution that favours selective induction, survival and expansion of adaptive regulatory T cells, which establishes long-term tolerance. This Review summarizes the pre-clinical and clinical studies of CD3-specific monoclonal antibody therapy and highlights future opportunities to enhance the efficacy of this potent immunotherapeutic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Apoptosis / immunology
  • CD3 Complex / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Muromonab-CD3 / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Fc / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology


  • CD3 Complex
  • Muromonab-CD3
  • Receptors, Fc