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Vol. 32, No. 6, 2005
Issue release date: November 2005
Transfus Med Hemother 2005;32:384-399

Mechanisms of Central and Peripheral T-Cell Tolerance: An Update

Buer J. · Westendorf A.M. · Zeng A-P. · He F. · Hansen W. · Probst-Kepper M.
aDepartment of Mucosal Immunity, bDepartment of Systems Biology, German Research Centre for Biotechnology, Braunschweig, cInstitute of Medical Microbiology, dJunior Research Group for Xenotransplantation, Department of Visceral and Transplant Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Germany

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To function properly, the immune system must deal with randomly generated immune receptors that by chance can recognize self-antigens. Most solutions to this selftolerance problem are cell intrinsic and involve the deletion or inactivation of autoreactive cells. This review will present an update of the concepts of an extrinsic form of dominant tolerance mediated by regulatory T cells. Throughout, new tools to identify and manipulate these regulatory T cells will be discussed. These basics should enable us to unlock their clinical potential to specifically suppress immune responses in autoimmunity and transplantation and to antagonize regulatory T cells where a boost of immunity is required, e.g. in infectious diseases and anti-tumor immune responses.

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