To date, the available options to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) include traditional corticoids and biological drugs, which are not exempt of adverse effects. The development of cellular therapies based on dendritic cells with tolerogenic functions (TolDCs) has opened a new possibility to efficiently eradicate symptoms and control the immune response in the field of autoimmunity. TolDCs are an attractive tool for antigen-specific immunotherapy to restore self-tolerance in RA and other autoimmune disorders. A promising strategy is to inject autologous self-antigen-loaded TolDCs, which are able to delete or reprogram autoreactive T cells. Different protocols for the generation of stable human TolDCs have been established and the therapeutic effect of TolDCs has been investigated in multiple rodent models of arthritis. Pilot studies in humans confirmed that TolDC application is safe, encouraging clinical trials using self-antigen-loaded TolDCs in RA patients. Although an abundance of molecular regulators of DC functions has been discovered in the last decade, no master regulator of tolerogenicity has been identified yet. Further research is required to define biomarkers or key regulators of tolerogenicity that might facilitate the induction and monitoring of TolDCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy