Immunomodulation in the Nervous and Vascular Systems During Inflammation and Autoimmunity: the Role of T Regulatory Cells
The immune system is characterized by a complex network of cells and organs specialized to extinguish foreign invaders or malfunctioning cells of the organism. Although innate immunity, B-cell function via antibody responses, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes are very important for protection of the body, T cells play a central role in the immune system and are more important for its regulation. This chapter discusses T-cell regulation within the immune system, along with central and peripheral tolerance mechanisms of positive and negative selection, anergy, and deletion. Immunomodulation in the nervous system as well as vascular system during inflammation and autoimmunity is described using the paradigms of two complex pathological conditions: multiple sclerosis and atherosclerosis. The role of T cells and T regulatory cells in breaking or maintaining tolerance is examined, together with the proposed ways of their therapeutic manipulations to ameliorate disease progression.
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