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Role of regulatory T cells in rheumatoid arthritis: facts and hypothesis

Authors
  • Alunno, Alessia1
  • Bartoloni, Elena1
  • Nocentini, Giuseppe2
  • Bistoni, Onelia1
  • Ronchetti, Simona2
  • Petrillo, Maria Grazia2
  • Riccardi, Carlo2
  • Gerli, Roberto1
  • 1 University of Perugia, Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, via E. dal Pozzo, Perugia, I-06122, Italy , Perugia (Italy)
  • 2 University of Perugia, Section of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Chemotherapy, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Perugia, I-06122, Italy , Perugia (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Autoimmunity Highlights
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
May 01, 2010
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
45–51
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13317-010-0008-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Regulatory T cells (Treg) are a CD4+ lymphocyte subset involved in self-tolerance and autoimmunity prevention. There is evidence for a phenotypic and/or functional impairment of this cell subset during the natural history of several chronic autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Although the intracellular transcription factor FoxP3 is thought to be the master regulator of Treg cell function, a number of other molecules expressed on the cell surface have been proposed for the identification of Treg cells. This is important in order to favour their possible selective isolation and in the development of new therapeutic strategies. In the present paper, available data on phenotypic and functional characterization of Treg cells in both peripheral blood and synovial fluid from RA patients are reviewed and their possible pathogenic role in triggering and perpetuating rheumatoid joint inflammation is discussed.

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