A team of Swiss researchers recently set out to examine the nature of T cell-mediated immuno-regulation in the gastrointestinal tract. The research team was made up of doctors L. Saurer and C. Mueller of the Institute of Pathology at the University of Bern in Switzerland.

In the human intestinal tract, just a single layer of epithelial cells divides innate and adaptive immune effector cells from a wide array of antigens. Here, the immune system faces a tall task in accepting beneficial flora and dietary antigens while preventing the dissemination of potential pathogens. When the tightly controlled process of immune system reactions breaks down, harmful inflammation and damage may result.

In light of this, a great deal of focus has shifted toward 'conventional' regulatory CD4+ T cells, including naturally occurring and adaptive CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+