CD8(+) T-cell homeostasis after infection: setting the 'curve'

Microbes Infect. 2002 Apr;4(4):441-7. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(02)01558-7.


Antigen (Ag)-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses exhibit remarkably similar kinetics after different types of infection. Starting from levels that are virtually undetectable in vivo, pathogen-specific naïve CD8(+) T cells are precisely regulated to go through rapid expansion and contraction (death) phases, achieving memory levels of Ag-specific CD8(+) T cells that are maintained for the life of the host. However, the exact mechanisms used to achieve appropriate and reproducible CD8(+) T-cell homeostasis in response to diverse pathogens remain to be determined. The possibility that early events after infection regulate major features of Ag-specific CD8(+) T-cell homeostasis will be discussed here.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Death
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Homeostasis
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Kinetics
  • Lymphocyte Activation


  • Antigens, Bacterial