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Regulatory T cells generated early in life play a distinct role in maintaining self-tolerance

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Science  01 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6234, pp. 589-594
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa7017

Early T cells keep autoimmunity at bay

A major challenge faced by the immune system is to react to foreign substances, such as microbes, while simultaneously tolerating the self. Upsetting this balance leads to autoimmunity. Regulatory T cells (Tregs), are a subset of immune cells that help to maintain this balance. Yang et al. found that murine Treg cells generated very early in life are distinct from those generated in older animals and play an especially important role in keeping autoimmunity in check (see the Perspective by Tanaka and Sakaguchi). These changes are due to differences in the way Tregs develop in the thymus in newborn versus adult mice.

Science, this issue p. 589; see also p. 506

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