British researchers maintain that an understanding of the molecule Foxp3 and how it controls the autoimmune response may offer new insights on how to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Foxp3 helps to regulate the bodys immune system, but people without the molecule or with mutated forms of Foxp3 may have dysfunctional regulation of their immune system. According to a November 2008 report in the journal PLoS Biology, researchers generated a modified form of the molecule, which was introduced into immune cells through genetic engineering techniques and then activated by simple injection. When administered to and activated in animal models of arthritis, the modified cells inhibited or even reversed the disease process. Researchers are now focusing on the molecular mechanisms involved in Foxp3 function and will soon begin working with human cells.