One step towards restoration of self-tolerance in human autoimmune diseases

Médecine sciences : M/S
Lucienne Chatenoud


In developed countries the incidence of autoimmune insulin-dependent or type 1 diabetes as the one of all autoimmune diseases has steadily increased over the last decades. Conventional therapy of type 1 diabetes is essentially palliative namely, chronic delivery of exogenous insulin that is associated with major constraints (multiple daily parenteral administration, serious risks linked to hypoglycemic episodes) and incomplete effectiveness in preventing severe degenerative complications. This explains the growing attention on modern therapeutic strategies using biological agents such as CD3 monoclonal antibodies that allow 'reprogramming' the immune system to restore self-tolerance to pancreatic beta cell antigens. This strategy which proved successful in the experimental setting has recently been translated to the clinic with very encouraging results. CD3 antibodies may represent a new category of drugs affording a real cure for autoimmunity namely, inhibiting the pathogenic immune response while preserving the host reactivity to unrelated antigens.


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