Regulatory T Cells in Hepatitis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma



Persistent viral infection in liver is still a global threat to human health. It has been suggested that compromised immune responses play a critical role for chronic viral infection. It is, at least in part, shown that impaired innate and adaptive immunity as well as liver tolerance are responsible for the compromised immune responses, but the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain largely undefined. Recently, CD4+CD25+FoxP3 regulatory T cells (Treg) have been implicated in playing an important role during viral infection. This chapter not only outlines what we have learned about Treg, but also highlights the challenges we are facing regarding the origin of inducible antigen-specific Treg and how do they functionally suppress target effector immune cells such as CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, dendritic cell subsets in viral hepatitis and liver cancers in humans. Finally, we will summarize current progresses, future directions and unanswered questions regarding the potential application of Treg that could serve as a potential immunotherapeutic target for hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in clinic.


AHB, acute hepatitis B; CHB, chronic hepatitis B; HBV, hepatitis B virus; HCV, Hepatitis C virus; DC, dendritic cell; mDC, myeloid DC; pDC, plasmacytoid DC; HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; LC, liver cirrhosis; Treg, T regulatory cells.


Autoimmune Hepatitis Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Patient Autoimmune Liver Disease Impaired Treg Function 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Biological TherapyBeijing Institute of Infectious DiseasesBeijing 302 HospitalChina

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