Purpose of review As the knowledge of CD4+CD25bright+FoxP3+regulatory T cells in experimental transplant models grows, we need to understand how and to what extent these suppressor cells regulate donor-directed immune events in the transplantation clinic. This review focuses on the function of regulatory T cells in the peripheral blood and the transplanted organ of patients after heart transplantation during immunological quiescence and rejection. Recent findings Here, we present data that peripheral CD4+CD25bright+FoxP3+T cells of heart transplant patients who experience acute rejection have inadequate immune regulatory function in vitro compared with those of nonrejecting patients. During rejection, potent donor-specific T-cell suppressors are present in the transplanted organ. Summary The studies in transplant patients' show that the function of CD4+CD25bright+FoxP3+regulatory T cells in alloimmunity is to inhibit the activation of effector T cells, to prevent rejection, and to control the antidonor response at the graft itself at later stages of immune reactivity.

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doi.org/10.1097/MOT.0b013e32833037e8, hdl.handle.net/1765/27144
Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Baan, C.C, Dijke, I.E, & Weimar, W. (2009). Regulatory T cells in alloreactivity after clinical heart transplantation. Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation (Vol. 14, pp. 577–582). doi:10.1097/MOT.0b013e32833037e8