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Basic science for the chest physician
Regulatory T cells and COPD
  1. Rachel Dancer1,
  2. David M Sansom2
  1. 1University of Birmingham School of Experimental Medicine, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2UCL Institute for Immunity and Transplantation, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor David M Sansom, UCL Institute for Immunity and Transplantation, Rowland Hill Street, London NW3 2PF, UK; d.sansom{at}ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

While the innate immune system has long been implicated in the pathogenesis of COPD, a role for the acquired immune system is less well studied. The increasing recognition that COPD shares features with autoimmune disease has led to interest in a potential role for regulatory T cells, which are intimately involved in the control of autoimmunity. The suggestion that regulatory T cell numbers are increased in patients with COPD may indicate their dysfunction or resistance to suppression by target cells. Investigation of regulatory T cells may therefore be of importance in understanding the inflammation and tissue damage that occurs in patients with COPD who cease smoking.

  • Copd ÀÜ Mechanisms
  • COPD Exacerbations
  • Tobacco and the Lung

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