Anti-CD3: from T cell depletion to tolerance induction

  • Damien Bresson
  • Matthias von Herrath
Part of the Progress in Inflammation Research book series (PIR)


Immune processes need to be strictly controlled to counteract any immunological disorders or pathological events and maintain a healthy balance in the body. Consequently, a variety of immune interventions have been preclinically validated and revealed great promise in animal models. However, the translation from bench to bedside has been more than disappointing in various clinical trials. The first therapeutic agents (immune suppressors) were mostly nonspecific and inhibited cellular proliferation [1]–[3]. These treatments generally led to serious side effects due intrinsic lack of pharmacospecificity. Later, cyclosporin A (CsA) was the first of a new generation of immunosuppressants with a ‘site-specific’ mode of action. Mechanistically, CsA mediates its in vivo effect by repressing lymphocyte activation at an early stage. Due to a low degree of myelotoxicity, CsA was considered early as an attractive therapeutic drug in clinical transplantation for inhibiting lymphocytic activities without affecting either phagocytosis or migration of the reticulo-endothelial system. In 1978, CsA was tested clinically and due to its strong efficacy was readily used worldwide in a majority of the transplant centers to maintain graft survival post surgery [4, 5]. In the mean time, much work has been put into the design of new therapeutic strategies that would present lower side effects but retain substantial efficacy.


Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Cell Depletion Tolerance Induction Acute Renal Allograft Rejection OKT3 Monoclonal Antibody 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien Bresson
    • 1
  • Matthias von Herrath
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental Immunology 3La Jolla Institute for Allergy and ImmunologyLa JollaUSA

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