New research from a team of Israeli scientists has found that CAR-transduced regulatory T cells (Tregs) can be used to suppress autoimmune disease.
In the images above, mice with colitis (inflammation of the colon, seen as the angry red blotches and nasty mucus in the ‘No Tregs’ image on the left) have much improved symptoms when they are infused with a population of immune cells known as Tregs (on the right). These immune suppressive cells act to dampen down T cell responses. Since colitis is caused by a patient’s own T cells reacting against protein targets like CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) in the colon, Tregs can suppress these immune responses and restore a healthy colon.
This is the first time that immunotherapy has been used to dampen the immune system rather than hyperactivate it. To treat other diseases, like cancer, scientists prefer to remove Tregs and thus improve the activity of T cells reacting against tumour targets.
Image credit: Molecular Therapy and the Weizmann Institute of Science
Repost from the Stojdl Lab blog.