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Homing toward tolerance

A Portuguese team has uncovered how invariant NK T cells, which are primarily thought of as having an immunostimulatory function, can become immunosuppressive and help keep autoimmunity in check.

Although the question remains whether the cells will prove therapeutically tractable, the team's leader has already cofounded a startup, Acellera Therapeutics Ltd., to develop the cells to combat liver transplant rejection and autoimmunity.

Conventional Treg cells dampen immune response, so increasing their activity has been a goal in fighting autoimmunity and transplant rejection.

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