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Update on the Therapeutic Efficacy of Tregs in IBD: Thumbs up or Thumbs down?

Fantini, Massimo C. MD, PhD; Monteleone, Giovanni MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000001272
Clinical Review Articles

Abstract: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the 2 major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in humans, arise in genetically predisposed individuals because of an abnormal immune response direct against constituents of the gut flora. Defects in counter-regulatory mechanisms are supposed to amplify and maintain the IBD-associated mucosal inflammation. Therefore, restoring the balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways in the gut could contribute to halt the IBD-associated tissue-damaging immune response. Various suppressive T cell (Tregs) subsets have been characterized phenotypically and functionally and over the last decade, there has been enormous effort for optimizing the procedures for the in vitro expansion/generation of these cells for therapeutic purposes. Here we review the mechanisms of action and functional relevance of Tregs in the maintenance of gut inflammation and analyze the available data about the use of these cells in the treatment of IBD patients.

Article first published online 8 September 2017.

Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Rome, Italy.

Address correspondence to: Giovanni Monteleone, MD, PhD, Department of Systems Medicine, University of “Tor Vergata,” Via Montpellier 1, Rome 00133, Italy (e-mail:

Supported by Grant No. RBFR12VP3Q FIRB Ministero per l'Istruzione, L'Università e la Ricerca (MIUR) and Grant 13304, Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (AIRC).

The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Received June 26, 2017

Accepted July 18, 2017

© Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
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