Forkhead-Box-P3 gene transfer in human CD4+ T conventional cells for the generation of stable and efficient regulatory T cells, suitable for immune modulatory therapy

L Passerini, R Bacchetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The development of novel approaches to control immune responses to self- and allogenic tissues/organs represents an ambitious goal for the management of autoimmune diseases and in transplantation. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are recognized as key players in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance in physiological and pathological conditions, and Treg-based cell therapies to restore tolerance in T cell-mediated disorders have been designed. However, several hurdles, including insufficient number of Tregs, their stability, and their antigen specificity, have challenged Tregs clinical applicability. In the past decade, the ability to engineer T cells has proven a powerful tool to redirect specificity and function of different cell types for specific therapeutic purposes. By using lentivirus-mediated gene transfer of the thymic-derived Treg transcription factor forkhead-box-P3 (FOXP3) in conventional CD4 + T cells, we converted effector T cells into Treg-like cells, endowed with potent in vitro and in vivo suppressive activity. The resulting CD4 FOXP3 T-cell population displays stable phenotype and suppressive function. We showed that this strategy restores Treg function in T lymphocytes from patients carrying mutations in FOXP3 [immune-dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX)], in whom CD4 FOXP3 T cell could be used as therapeutics to control autoimmunity. Here, we will discuss the potential advantages of using CD4 FOXP3 T cells for in vivo application in inflammatory diseases, where tissue inflammation may undermine the function of natural Tregs. These findings pave the way for the use of engineered Tregs not only in IPEX syndrome but also in autoimmune disorders of different origin and in the context of stem cell and organ transplantation. © 2017 Passerini and Bacchetta.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1282
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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