At present, the treatment of T-cell-dependent autoimmune diseases relies exclusively on strategies leading to nonspecific suppression of the immune systems causing a substantial reduced ability to control concomitant infections or malignancies. Furthermore, long-term treatment with most drugs is accompanied by several serious adverse effects and does not consequently result in cure of the primary immunological malfunction. By contrast, antigen-specific immunotherapy offers the potential to achieve the highest therapeutic efficiency in accordance with minimal adverse effects. Therefore, several studies have been performed utilizing antigen-presenting cells specifically engineered to deplete allo- or antigen-specific T cells ('guided missiles). Many of these strategies take advantage of the Fas/Fas ligand signaling pathway to efficiently induce antigen-presenting cell-mediated apoptosis in targeted T cells. In this article, we discuss the advantages and shortcomings of a novel non-cell-based 'killer artificial antigen-presenting cell strategy, developed to overcome obstacles related to current cell-based approaches for the treatment of T-cell-mediated autoimmunity.
- T cell
- antigen-presenting cell
- killer artificial antigen-presenting cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy