Induction of transplantation tolerance via regulatory T cells

Manuela Battaglia, Maria Grazia Roncarolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last two decades, graft survival has been greatly improved by the introduction of efficient immunosuppressive drugs. On the other hand, late graft loss caused by chronic rejection together with the side effects of long-term immunosuppression, remain major obstacles for successful transplantation. Operational tolerance, which is defined by the lack of acute and chronic rejection and indefinite graft survival with normal graft function in the absence of chronic immunosuppression, represents an attractive alternative. Several approaches have been explored to achieve transplantational tolerance, which is considered the "Holy Grail" of transplantation, including induction of central tolerance by establishing mixed chimerism through hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or induction of peripheral tolerance through modulation of allogeneic immune responses. Graft-specific alloreactive T cells, which largely mediate graft rejection, can be silenced through different mechanisms, including deletion, which may occur within the thymus or in the lymphoid organs; anergy, in which alloreactive T cells cannot adequately respond following restimulation with the specific antigen; and suppression, which may be mediated by direct interactions with regulatory T cells (Tregs) or by soluble factors produced by Tregs. This review attempts to summarize the most novel and successful strategies to achieve operational tolerance via induction of Tregs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalInflammation and Allergy - Drug Targets
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Regulatory T cells
  • Tolerance
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology


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