Biology and significance of T-cell apoptosis in the liver

Immunol Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;80(1):74-83. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1711.2002.01065.x.


The liver has emerged as an organ with distinct immunological properties. In this review, we summarize evidence that shows that the liver can remove apoptotic, or non-apoptotic but activated, CD8+ T cells from the circulation and induce apoptosis in these activated T cells by either active or passive mechanisms. Hepatitis viruses, particularly hepatitis C virus, often establish persistent infection. We review evidence that suggests that these viruses exploit intrahepatic tolerance mechanisms to protect themselves from immune attack.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Liver / virology