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Controlling The Enemy Within

 
  December, 6 2006 9:56
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
The constant presence of a population of 'regulatory' immune cells is essential for the prevention of autoimmune disease, according to a paper published in the February 2007 issue of Nature Immunology.

Other strategies to impede autoimmunity exist, but whether they could maintain a healthy immune system in the absence of such 'regulatory' cells is not clear.

Alexander Rudensky and colleagues devised a way to rapidly deplete adult mice of regulatory immune cells called T regulatory (Treg) cells. Shortly after Treg cell depletion, immune cells traveled to and began damaging internal organs. All mice succumbed to that fatal autoimmune attack within 4 weeks of Treg cell depletion.

These results emphasize that Treg cell function is more critical than other strategies for keeping potentially harmful cells in check.

Author contact:

Alexander Rudensky (University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA)
E-mail: aruden@u.washington.edu

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Immunology press release.


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