Regulatory Immune Mechanisms beyond Regulatory T Cells

Trends Immunol. 2019 Jun;40(6):482-491. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2019 May 14.


In autoimmunity, aggressive immune responses are counteracted by suppressive rejoinders. For instance, FOXP3-expressing regulatory T cells (Tregs), have shown remarkable effects in limiting autoimmunity in preclinical models. However, early results from human Treg trials have not been as positive. Here, we highlight questions surrounding Treg transfers as putative treatments for autoimmunity. We discuss whether lack of antigenic recognition might be key to shifting cells from contributing to an aggressive autoresponse, to being part of a regulatory network. Moreover, we argue that identifying the physiological range of immunosuppression of Tregs might help potentiate their efficacy. We propose widening the view on immunoregulation by considering the participation of CD8+ Tregs in this process, which could have major implications in autoimmunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Immunomodulation*
  • Immunotherapy / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism*
  • Treatment Outcome