Research ArticleAutoimmunity

First-in-class inhibitor of the T cell receptor for the treatment of autoimmune diseases

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Science Translational Medicine  21 Dec 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 370, pp. 370ra184
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaf2140

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Toning down T cell signaling to treat autoimmunity

T cells are important for fighting infectious agents, but T cells that recognize the body’s own cells are often central to the development of autoimmune disease, leading Borroto et al. to develop a compound that hampers T cell signaling without completely blocking it. Treatment with this compound prevented or treated autoimmune disease in multiple mouse models, and the compound was demonstrated to skew human T cell differentiation toward less inflammatory subsets. Treatment with the compound did not prevent T cell pathogen responses in mice, suggesting that it would not leave patients susceptible to infection.