Treg therapy in transplantation: A general overview

Marco Romano, Sim Lai Tung, Lesley Ann Smyth, Giovanna Lombardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    107 Citations (Scopus)


    Solid organ transplantation remains the treatment of choice for end-stage organ failure. Whilst the short term outcomes post-transplant have improved in the last decades, chronic rejection and immunosuppressant side effects remain an ongoing concern. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a well-established procedure for the treatment of patients with haematological disorders. However, donor T-cells are continually primed and activated to react against the host causing graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) that leads to tissue damages and death. Regulatory T-cells (Tregs) play an essential role in maintaining tolerance to self-antigens, preventing excessive immune responses and abrogating autoimmunity. Due to their suppressive properties, Tregs have been extensively studied for their use as a cellular therapy aiming to treat GvHD and limit immune responses responsible for graft rejection. Several clinical trials have been conducted or are currently ongoing to investigate safety and feasibility of Treg-based therapy. This review summarises the general understanding of Treg biology and presents the methods used to isolate and expand Tregs. Furthermore, we describe data from the first clinical trials using Tregs, explaining the limitations and future application of these cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTransplant International
    Early online date24 Dec 2016
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Dec 2016


    • Clinical trials
    • Good manufacturing practice
    • Regulatory T cells
    • Transplantation


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