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Mechanism for generating autoimmunity-suppressing cells identified

ry T cells is that, although their purpose is to prevent autoimmunity, they themselves react against self, Caton says. However, their properties have been changed so that instead of responding to stimulation by dividing and directing the elimination of infected cells, as a normal T cell does, they instead suppress the local immune response.

In the future, Caton and his research team intend to explore how the function of regulatory T cells is disrupted in autoimmunity. In addition, the researchers are interested in determining whether infection by a virus could, under certain circumstances, convert the regulatory T cells into a highly self-reactive but pathological form.


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Contact: Marion Wyce/Franklin Hoke
wyce@wistar.upenn.edu
215-898-3943/3716
The Wistar Institute
27-Mar-2001


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