Unrestrained excessive inflammatory responses exacerbate ischemic brain injury and impede post-stroke brain recovery. CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells play important immunosuppressive roles to curtail inflammatory responses and regain immune homeostasis after stroke. Accumulating evidence confirms that Treg cells are neuroprotective at the acute stage after stroke and promote brain repair at the chronic phases. The beneficial effects of Treg cells are mediated by diverse mechanisms involving cell-cell interactions and soluble factor release. Multiple types of cells, including both immune cells and non-immune CNS cells, have been identified to be cellular targets of Treg cells. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding the function of Treg cells in ischemic stroke and the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. The protective and reparative properties of Treg cells endorse them as good candidates for immune therapy. Strategies that boost the numbers and functions of Treg cells have been actively developing in the fields of transplantation and autoimmune diseases. We discuss the approaches for Treg cell expansion that have been tested in stroke models. The application of these approaches to stroke patients may bring new hope for stroke treatments.
Brain repair; Immunoregulation; Neuroprotection; Regulatory T cell.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.