Defining the mechanisms and control of human regulatory T cell function in autoimmunity

Study code

Lead researcher
Professor Graham Lord

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
King’s College London

Researcher type

Speciality area
Infection, Gastroenterology

Recruitment Site


We have been studying the impact of a genetic change on the way immune cells called effector (Teff) and regulatory (Treg) T cells 'talk' to each other. We isolated Teff and Treg from blood samples provided by volunteers, and found that in individuals with the genetic change, the Teff were more sensitive to immune signalling.

We believe that this disturbs the balance between Treg/Teffs, and that the more 'aggressive' Teff in these subjects may be a target for a personalised treatment in Crohn's disease.

We are very grateful to the 48 individuals in the NIHR BioResource who provided blood and clinical information to enable us to undertake this work.

Further details about this study can be found in the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis publication here:

"A Crohn’s Disease-associated IL2RA Enhancer Variant Determines the Balance of T Cell Immunity by Regulating Responsiveness to IL-2 Signalling, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, Volume 15, Issue 12, December 2021, Pages 2054–2065"