Heterogeneity and cell-fate decisions in effector and memory CD8+ T cell differentiation during viral infection

Immunity. 2007 Sep;27(3):393-405. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2007.08.007.


Heterogeneity is a hallmark of the adaptive immune system. This is most evident in the enormous diversity of B and T cell antigen receptors. There is also heterogeneity within antiviral T cell populations, and subsets of effector and memory T cells now permeate our thinking about specialization of T cell responses to pathogens. It has been less clear, however, how heterogeneity in developing virus-specific effector and memory T cells is related to cell-fate decisions in the immune response, such as the generation long-lived memory T cells. Here we discuss recent findings that might help redefine how heterogeneity in antiviral T cell populations gives rise to T cell subsets with short- and long-lived cell fates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Models, Immunological*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*