Regulatory T cells in CNS injury: The simple, the complex and the confused

James T. Walsh, Jonathan Kipnis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Regulatory CD4 +CD25 +Foxp3 + T cells (Tregs) have been the focus of significant attention for their role in controlling immune responses. Although knowledge of Treg biology has burgeoned, wide gaps remain in our understanding of Treg function under both normal and pathological conditions. Pioneering studies demonstrated roles for Tregs in cancer and autoimmune diseases, including experimental autoimmune encephalitis, and this knowledge is often applied to other pathologies including neurodegenerative conditions. However, differences between immunity in neurodegeneration and in malignancy or autoimmunity are often neglected. Thus, Treg manipulations in central nervous system (CNS) neurodegenerative conditions often yield unexpected outcomes. In this piece, we explore how the immunology of neurodegeneration differs from that of cancer and autoimmunity and how these differences create confusion about the role of Tregs in neurodegenerative conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

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