The undesired destruction of healthy cells, either endogenous or transplanted, by the immune system results in the loss of tissue function or limits strategies to restore tissue function. Current therapies typically involve nonspecific immunosuppression that may prevent the appropriate response to an antigen, thereby decreasing humoral immunity and increasing the risks of patient susceptibility to opportunistic infections, viral reactivation, and neoplasia. The induction of antigen-specific immunological tolerance to block undesired immune responses to self- or allogeneic antigens, while maintaining the integrity of the remaining immune system, has the potential to transform the current treatment of autoimmune disease and serve as a key enabling technology for therapies based on cell transplantation.


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