T regulatory cells are fundamental in the maintenance of immune homeostasis and self-tolerance. Experimental models suggest the existence of two functional types of T(reg) cells designated naturally occurring and induced. Interest in T(reg) cells increased with evidence from experimental mouse and human models demonstrating that the immunosuppressive potential of these cells can be utilized in the treatment of various pathological conditions. The existence of a subpopulation of suppressive T cells was the subject of significant controversy among immunologists for many years. T regulatory cells limit immune activation through a variety of direct and indirect interactions, many of which are yet to be determined. Fully understanding T(reg) cells biology will lead us to harnessing the capacity of these cells in order to develop strategies to prevent autoimmune disorders and tolerance to transplantation. Efficient isolation, expansion and cryopreservation strategies that comply with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines are prerequisites for the clinical application of human CD4+ CD25+ CD127(low) FOXP3+ regulatory T cells.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.