Regulatory T cells: Prospective for clinical application in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Silvia Gregori, Rosa Bacchetta, Ehud Hauben, Manuela Battaglia, Maria Grazia Roncarolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Regulatory T cells exert a dominant effect in controlling autoimmunity and maintaining peripheral tolerance. Regulatory T cells are also involved in preventing allograft rejection and graft versus host disease. Cellular therapy with expanded regulatory T cells represents a promising approach to control T-cell mediated pathology. In this review we will summarize the efforts to design new methods for expanding regulatory T cells and exploit their regulatory function as cellular therapy for the treatment of graft versus host disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Recent findings: Among CD4+ T cells, the best described are the naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells and type 1 regulatory T cells. Recent progress has been made in the characterization of both subsets in terms of isolation and induction, respectively. However, a clear definition of their mechanisms of action has still to be achieved. Summary: Better understanding of the mechanisms of suppression mediated by regulatory T cells might enable their use to modulate specific immune responses. Moreover, the recent development of methods allowing the ex-vivo expansion of regulatory T cells, to provide sufficient number of cells for in-vivo infusion, represents the first step toward the use of these celts as cellular therapy for the treatment of immunologic and hematological diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-456
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Hematology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells
  • Cellular therapy
  • Graft versus host disease
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Type 1 regulatory T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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