Novel Insights in the Regulation of the Immune System: A Report on the FASEB Summer Research Conference on Autoimmunity (June 14-19, 2003, Saxton's River, Vermont, USA)

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The Review of Diabetic Studies,2004,1,1,47-50.
Published:May 2004
Type:Conference Report
Author(s) affiliations:

Matthew A. Gronski

University Health Network, Ontario Cancer Institute, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Canada M5G 2M9,


The bi-annual FASEB autoimmunity conference organized last year by Betty Diamond and Stephen Miller brought together some 150 delegates studying various aspects of autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diabetes. The conference provided numerous insights into the latest research on autoimmunity and answered many basic research type questions that are important for understanding the complex nature of these diseases. Because some time has elapsed since the conference, data from a number of talks has already been published [1-11]. Thus, I will present an overview of some of the most interesting and at the same time, still unpublished data on T cells presented at the conference. The balance between tolerance and immunity is controlled through a variety of mechanisms such as the presence or absence of co-stimulation or negative regulation of a T cell response. CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells were also a focus of interest. Talks that I will discuss focused on the role of molecules such as GITR, Foxp3 and B7 for the development and function of regulatory T cells and the importance of these molecules in the prevention of autoimmunity. As well, a novel form of CTLA-4 and the use of 4-1BB co-stimulation blockade for the control of autoimmunity will be discussed.