Theranostics 2020; 10(20):8924-8938. doi:10.7150/thno.47118

Review

An emerging role of regulatory T-cells in cardiovascular repair and regeneration

Tiffany H.W. Fung1, Kevin Y. Yang1,2, Kathy O. Lui1,2,3✉

1. Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
2. Department of Chemical Pathology, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
3. Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

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Citation:
Fung THW, Yang KY, Lui KO. An emerging role of regulatory T-cells in cardiovascular repair and regeneration. Theranostics 2020; 10(20):8924-8938. doi:10.7150/thno.47118. Available from https://www.thno.org/v10p8924.htm

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Abstract

Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that immune cells play an important role in the regulation of tissue repair and regeneration. After injury, danger signals released by the damaged tissue trigger the initial pro-inflammatory phase essential for removing pathogens or cellular debris that is later replaced by the anti-inflammatory phase responsible for tissue healing. On the other hand, impaired immune regulation can lead to excessive scarring and fibrosis that could be detrimental for the restoration of organ function. Regulatory T-cells (Treg) have been revealed as the master regulator of the immune system that have both the immune and regenerative functions. In this review, we will summarize their immune role in the induction and maintenance of self-tolerance; as well as their regenerative role in directing tissue specific response for repair and regeneration. The latter is clearly demonstrated when Treg enhance the differentiation of stem or progenitor cells such as satellite cells to replace the damaged skeletal muscle, as well as the proliferation of parenchymal cells including neonatal cardiomyocytes for functional regeneration. Moreover, we will also discuss the reparative and regenerative role of Treg with a particular focus on blood vessels and cardiac tissues. Last but not least, we will describe the ongoing clinical trials with Treg in the treatment of autoimmune diseases that could give clinically relevant insights into the development of Treg therapy targeting tissue repair and regeneration.