Regulatory T cells in lupus

Hee Kap Kang, Syamal Kumar Datta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Naturally occurring, CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells that are exported from the thymus early in life play an important role in controlling organ-specific autoimmune diseases, but they may not be critical for suppressing systemic autoimmunity in lupus. On the other hand, lupus-prone subjects appear to be deficient in generation of adaptive T-regulatory cells that can be induced by various means. We review autoantigen-specific therapeutic approaches that induce such regulatory T cells. Of particular interest are TGF-β producing CD4+CD25+ and CD8+ regulatory T cells that are induced by low dose tolerance therapy of lupus-prone mice with nucleosomal histone peptide epitopes, administered subcutaneously in subnanomolar doses. These regulatory T cells are not only efficient in suppressing autoantigen recognition and autoantibody production, but they also inhibit migration/accumulation of pathogenic autoimmune cells in the target organ, such as the kidneys of mice prone to develop lupus nephritis. We discuss why and under what conditions such therapeutic approaches would be beneficial in lupus patients and lupus-prone subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-25
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Autoimmunity
  • Immunotherapy
  • Peptide epitopes
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Systemic lupus
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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