Recent advances in immunology have greatly increased our understanding of immunological tolerance. In particular, there has been a resurgence of interest in mechanisms of immune regulation. Immune regulation refers to the phenomenon, previously known as immune suppression, by which excessive responses to infectious agents and hypersensitivities to otherwise innocuous antigens such as self antigens and allergens are avoided. We now appreciate that various distinct cell types mediate immune suppression and that some of these may be induced by appropriate administration of antigens, synthetic peptides and drugs of various types. The induction of antigen specific immunotherapy for treatment of autoimmune and allergic diseases remains the holy grail for treatment of these diseases. This goal comes ever closer as understanding of the mechanisms of immune suppression and in particular antigen specific immunotherapy increases. Here we review evidence that immune suppression is mediated by various different subsets of CD4 T cells.
Keywords: Autoimmunity, allergy, T-cell, cytokine, immune regulation, antigen, peptide
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