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Keywords:

  • CD28;
  • abatacept;
  • cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4-immunoglobulin;
  • autoimmune disease

Summary:  This volume covers many topics in the field of T-cell costimulation. The need for such a volume is testament to the growth of the field. From its beginning as a concept in the 1980s, we have now progressed to the point where many molecules now have functionally defined roles in T-cell costimulation. In addition, the field has progressed ‘from bench to bedside’. Abatacept [cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4)-immunoglobulin (Ig) (CTLA-4-Ig)], an inhibitor of CD28-mediated T-cell costimulation, was approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis in 2006 by the Food and Drug Administration and in 2007 by the European Medicines Agency. This chapter first presents a personal historical perspective on the early basic studies on the elucidation of the CD28/B7 T-cell costimulatory pathway and the discovery of CTLA-4-Ig. We next present an overview of studies of CTLA-4-Ig in preclinical animal studies. The material discussed in these first two sections is selective rather than exhaustive; their purpose is to provide context for the final section, a summary of human clinical studies performed with abatacept.