CD8+ Tregs can remove pathogenic T cell subsets and inhibit progression of RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack the joints, causing inflammation, swelling, and erosion. Specific sets of immune cells, known as T cells, are responsible for inducing disease. In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Harvey Cantor at Harvard University analyzed the contributions of different subsets of T cells to an RA-like condition in mice.

Cantor and colleagues identified a subset of regulatory T cells (CD8+ Tregs) that can remove pathogenic T cell subsets and inhibit disease progression. Additionally, they identified small proteins that induced more CD8+ Tregs. These findings suggest that enhancing specific T cell subsets may be useful in combating RA and other autoimmune diseases.

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