Nonspecific immune suppression

Even 'nonspecific' immune suppression comes in degrees of specificity. One popular target is activated T cells. It could be predicted that activated T cells would be enriched for cells involved in the autoimmune process. However this prediction may not be useful, as there is evidence that many activated T cells are involved in the endogenous immunoregul-ation which diminishes the immune responses to auto and other antigens.

Activation antigens that have been used as the target for immune suppression include CD25, the activ-atable component of the high-affinity IL-2 receptor. IL-2 toxin has been used by Seragen. Antibodies to CD25 by Sandoz and Hoffman La Roche appear to be effective. 0X40 is another activation antigen which is being considered as a therapeutic target. Immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine and FK506 are widely used in transplantation and cyclosporine is being increasingly used in rheumatoid arthritis (in combination with other drugs) and in psoriasis. In autoimmunity, glucocorticoids and methotrexate, which are both immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory are widely used (e.g. in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis).

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