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More MS news articles for October 2002

The Meandering 45-Year Odyssey of a Clinical Immunologist

Annu Rev Immunol 2002 Sep 17
Waldmann TA.
Metabolism Branch/NCI, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-1374

My work on basic and clinical immunology has focused on the regulation of the human immune response and how its dysregulation can lead to immunodeficiency, autoimmune, and malignant disorders.

The early focus in our laboratory was on pathogenic mechanisms underlying hypogammaglobulinemia.

Later, the demonstration of active suppression by human suppressor T cells changed thinking about the pathogenesis of certain immunodeficiency disorders.

Recently we have focused on the cytokines interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-15, which have competitive functions in adaptive immune responses.

IL-2 is necessary to destroy self-reactive lymphocytes and thus favors peripheral tolerance to self-antigens, whereas IL-15 favors the persistence of lymphocytes involved in the memory and effector responses to invading pathogens but risks the development of inflammatory autoimmune diseases.

Our murine anti-Tac monoclonal antibody exploits these differences, as does a humanized form (daclizumab) now approved for the prevention of renal allograft rejection.

New forms of therapy directed at IL-2 and IL-15 receptors may work against certain neoplastic diseases and autoimmune disorders and in the prevention of allograft rejection.