Down Regulation of the Immune Response

Many different mechanisms are involved in the down-regulation of the immune response. Extreme situations of down-regulation may very well be indistinguishable from tolerance. This similarity between activation of suppressor circuits and clonal anergy is made more obvious by the fact that the experimental protocols used to induce one or the other were virtually identical. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the down-regulation of the immune response (Weiner et al. 1994).

Two types of mononuclear cells (MNCs) seem to be capable of suppressor activity: lymphocytes and monocytes. Recently, CD4+ cells, which express CD25 on the surface, have been shown to act as regulators (suppressors) of the immune response in a variety of experimental conditions (Groux and Powerie 1999).

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