Maria Francisca Morães-Fontes

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Expression of the IL-2 receptor alpha chain (CD25) by peripheral CD4 T cells follows cellular activation. However, CD25 expression by CD4 cells is widely used as a marker to identify regulatory T cells (T(R)), although cells with regulatory properties are also found in the CD4+CD25- subset. By using in vivo functional assays and Foxp3 expression as a(More)
Natural T regulatory cells (NatTReg) limit immunopathology and protective immune responses induced upon microbial infection. In addition, infection increases the number and activity of NatTReg. These findings need to be conciliated with the process of 'self-nonself' discrimination based on the function of NatTReg committed intrathymically and positively(More)
Corticosteroids are commonly used in the therapy of autoimmune disease (AID), although they are rarely, if ever, curative. This failure may result from their deleterious effects on regulatory T cells (Treg). In this work, we directly tested the effects of hydrocortisone (HC) administration on Treg number and function in established mouse models of multiple(More)
Thymocytes differentiate into CD4(+) Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (T(R)) upon interaction between their TCR and peptide-MHC II complexes locally expressed in the thymus. Conversion of naive CD4(+) T cells into T(R) can additionally take place in the periphery under noninflammatory conditions of Ag encounter. In this study, making use of TCR transgenic models(More)
Behçet's disease (BD) is a complex disease with genetic and environmental risk factors implicated in its etiology; however, its pathophysiology is poorly understood. To decipher BD's genetic underpinnings, we combined gene expression profiling with pathway analysis and association studies. We compared the gene expression profiles in peripheral blood(More)
BACKGROUND CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells play an essential role in maintaining immune homeostasis and preventing autoimmunity. Therefore, defects in Treg development, maintenance or function have been associated with several human autoimmune diseases including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by loss of(More)
OBJECTIVES Develop recommendations for women's health issues and family planning in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and/or antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). METHODS Systematic review of evidence followed by modified Delphi method to compile questions, elicit expert opinions and reach consensus. RESULTS Family planning should be discussed as early as(More)
In order to establish if neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) can be identified by any characteristic other than those used to diagnose the neuropsychiatric (NP) disease itself, we retrospectively reviewed 98 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients followed over a mean period of 10 years. NPSLE was identified in 22 patients. Stroke and(More)
Intravenous IgG (ivIg) is a therapeutic alternative for lupus erythematosus, the mechanism of which remains to be fully understood. Here we investigated whether ivIg affects two established sub-phenotypes of SLE, namely relative oligoclonality of circulating T-cells and reduced activity of CD4 + Foxp3+ regulatory T-cells (Tregs) reflected by lower CD25(More)
In human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), diverse autoantibodies accumulate over years before disease manifestation. Unaffected relatives of SLE patients frequently share a sustained production of autoantibodies with indiscriminable specificity, usually without ever acquiring the disease. We studied relations of IgG autoantibody profiles and peripheral(More)