Do CD4+CD25+ Immunoregulatory T Cells Hinder Tumor Immunotherapy?

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Summary:After years of banishment from mainstream immunology, the notion that one subset of T cells can exert regulatory effects on other T lymphocytes is back in fashion. Recent work in knockout and transgenic mice has begun to bring molecular definition to our understanding of immunoregulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells (Treg/Th3/Tr1). The identification of the glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor family-related gene (GITR, also known as TNFRSF18) expressed on T regulatory cells might afford new therapeutic opportunities. Another possible therapeutic intervention could be the blockade of signaling through the molecular pair of tumor necrosis factor-related activation induced cytokine (TRANCE) and receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK). Based on the available evidence from experimental mouse tumor models, however, it seems that simply blocking or even eliminating T regulatory function will not be enough to manage established tumors. The challenge for immunotherapists now is to overcome immunosuppression using the knowledge gained through the understanding of T regulatory cell function.

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