Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

April 2017

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Gwen Scottgale

Abstract

T regulatory cells are part of the immune system and act to control and suppress immune responses. A small population or a population of T regulatory cells with impaired function has been associated with allergic and autoimmune diseases. Without suppression from these cells, immune dysfunction can become prevalent and lead to disease. Previous studies have shown that exposure to microbes and parasites such as Helminths can boost the T regulatory cell population. In developed countries, where microbial and parasitic exposure is diminished, allergies and autoimmune disorders are on the rise. In this review, scholarly articles and recent clinical trials were examined to see what therapies are currently being tested using T regulatory cells. One of the most favorable therapies is adoptive transfer of T regulatory cells. This therapy has had promising results in the early stages. Patients who received adoptive transfer therapy have had more alleviation of their disease than those in the control groups who received traditional treatment. Future studies need to be done to come to clear conclusions about the effectiveness of adoptive transfer, which would include a larger sample size of patients and longer follow up periods after therapy. By improving our understanding of adoptive transfer as a treatment, patients with these disorders can hopefully have an improved quality of life in the future.

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