They showed that rapamycin inhibits preferentially the proliferation and function of CD25+ conventional effector T cells and thus permits the expansion of Tregs even from a mixed starting population [67, 68]. Furthermore, and in support of such a study, Tresoldi et al.  showed that only the expansion cultures in the absence of rapamycin are contaminated by the CD4+CCR6+CD161+ T helper type 17 (Th17) precursor cells. Despite
this promise, adding rapamycin to Treg cultures has its own disadvantages in view of diminishing overall Treg expansion . The addition of rapamycin may, therefore, necessitate extended expansion times in order to achieve the therapeutic numbers – a problem, bearing in mind studies showing loss of GSK3235025 order FoxP3 expression in human Tregs upon repetitive stimulation (mentioned earlier ). It is also important to consider that target doses selleck chemicals of expanded Tregs may not always be reached, as reported in a clinical trial by Brunstein et al. , even when using protocols without the addition of rapamycin. Such trials used anti-CD3/CD28 beads for stimulation
and expansion of the Treg lines, the only GMP reagents available (with a safety record in humans). However, stimulation with cell-based artificial APCs (aAPCs), expressing the co-stimulatory molecule CD86 and an Fc receptor (FcR) for loading of anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (mAb), has also been used to expand Tregs  with approximately fourfold superiority over the use of anti-CD3/CD28 beads. These studies, therefore, highlight the many obstacles that we still
need to overcome to refine further the current protocols for the isolation and expansion of Tregs to ensure safe and efficacious application in the clinical setting. Despite these hurdles in the laboratory, there is still much debate over the specifics of the clinical protocol (outlined below). Most transplant recipients are treated with a combination of immunosuppressive drugs and biological agents to control rejection and/or GVHD responses. The combination of drugs used varies depending on the type of organ being transplanted as well as the protocols used by individual transplant centres. For example, some countries use oxyclozanide induction therapy with monoclonal or polyclonal antibody preparation such as alemtuzumab or anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) at the time of transplantation. This treatment markedly depletes most of the leucocyte populations in the peripheral blood. Interestingly, leucocyte depletion has the potential to tip the balance in favour of immune regulation by creating a situation whereby regulatory immune cells outnumber the effector cells. However, whether or not induction therapy is used, when devising clinical protocols to incorporate Tregs it is crucial to take into account the influence of the various immunosuppressants on the Tregs in vivo.