Regulatory T-cell immunotherapy for tolerance to self antigens and alloantigens in humans

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Aug;7(8):585-98. doi: 10.1038/nri2138.


Substantial progress in understanding the biology of regulatory T cells and their roles in health and disease has been achieved in the past 10 years. This has led to an increasing interest in the possibility of using regulatory T cells as a biological therapy to preserve and restore tolerance to self antigens and alloantigens. Immunotherapy by the adoptive transfer of regulatory T cells may have several advantages over conventional treatments. However, several hurdles have to be overcome before such a therapy can enter clinical practice. This Review summarizes our current knowledge of regulatory T cells, illustrates the ongoing regulatory T-cell-based clinical trials, analyses the strengths and pitfalls of this new therapeutic approach, and highlights the future perspectives.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology*
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive / methods*
  • Isoantigens / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / transplantation


  • Autoantigens
  • Isoantigens