Regulatory T cells, ensuring a good immune memory
Regulatory T cells (Treg) are a sub-population of immune cells that prevent each individual from triggering immune reactions against his/her own organs. In the context of some illnesses, these mechanisms may be defective: in this case, the term “auto-immune reactions” is applied. In this new research, published in the Science review, the team of researchers directed by Sebastian Amigorena (Institut Curie / Inserm U932 Immunity and Cancer unit) demonstrates that the regulatory T cells are also important during immune responses to external antigens, i.e. during infection.
By regulating the interactions between cells with antigens and T cells, Treg prefer engaging “high affinity” cells in terms of antigens, thus boosting the immune response. However, if there are no Treg, this first stage of immune response is defective, leading – in time – to an incorrect memorization process of pathogens and, consequently, to reduced defense mechanisms against infection (for example).
Shedding light on this new property of regulating T cells could prove significant in terms of developing vaccination strategies over time.
crédit photo M Depardieu/Inserm
Inserm press room – Regulatory T cells, ensuring a good immune memory