The immune system is balanced with cells that respond to microbes by developing into effector cells and cells that regulate the activity of effector cells. In many immune responses a subset of effector T cells termed Th17 are necessary for complete immunity because the cytokine IL-17 that they produce is critical to elimination of the pathogen. However, the activity of Th17 must be balance with development of regulatory T cells termed T(regs). Usually, when the activity of the effector cells is excessive and not balanced by regulatory cells of the immune system, there is the increased risk for development of autoimmune diseases. Therefore in many autoimmune diseases the activity of Th17 exceeds that of T(regs). Therapeutics for treatment of autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have focused upon immunosuppression, immunomodulation, or even immunoablation of effector cells such as Th17 followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Very few approaches have attempted to therapeutically increase immune regulatory cells such as T(regs) in the treatment of autoimmune disease. This review will focus upon the potential `or the use of resveratrol, a natural plant compound that has already been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory compound, as a complementary therapeutic for MS that increases the activity of T(regs) even though it also increases development of Th17.
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