Generation and regulation of CD8(+) regulatory T cells

Cell Mol Immunol. 2008 Dec;5(6):401-6. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2008.50.


Research into the suppressive activity of CD4(+)FoxP3(+) T regulatory cells (Treg) has defined a sublineage of CD4(+) cells that contribute to self-tolerance and resistance to autoimmune disease. Much less attention has been given to the potential contribution of regulatory sublineages of CD8(+) cells. Analysis of a small fraction of CD8(+) cells that target autoreactive CD4(+) cells through recognition of the MHC class Ib molecule Qa-1 in mouse and HLA-E in human has revitalized interest in CD8(+) Treg. Here we summarize recent progress and future directions of research into the role of this CD8(+) sublineage in resistance to autoimmune disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Humans
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D / immunology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily D
  • Q surface antigens