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Tregs, the key to new treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus

Veltkamp, S (2009) Tregs, the key to new treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an auto-immune disorder that affects connective tissue. It is caused by a break in self tolerance which is caused by hyperactive autoreactive T- and B cells. Properly functioning immune systems are regulated by regulatory T cells (Tregs). The goal of this thesis is explaining why Tregs are important for developing new SLE therapies. This will be done by first describing what is known about normal Treg function and then examining the role of Tregs in SLE. Tregs are a heterogeneous population of leukocytes that are anergic to effector T cell stimuli. They can only be distinguished from the conventional T cell population by comparing the expression levels of several cell surface markers. There are different subsets of Tregs that regulate the immune system via different pathways. The role of Tregs in SLE is controversial; there are different reports as to why Tregs fail to suppress the auto-immune response. This failure is reported to be caused by either a reduction in Treg numbers, a reduction in Treg function or a lack of antigen specific Tregs. However all these causes could possibly be treated by isolating Tregs from patients and selecting them for antigen specificity, or possibly making them antigen specific. These Tregs could then be activated and expanded in vitro and then transferred back into the patients. Therefore a better understanding of Treg function and dysfunction and improvement in the ability to manipulate them is an important step in the treatment of SLE.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:28
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:28

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