T Cell Exhaustion

Nat Immunol. 2011 Jun;12(6):492-9. doi: 10.1038/ni.2035.

Abstract

T cell exhaustion is a state of T cell dysfunction that arises during many chronic infections and cancer. It is defined by poor effector function, sustained expression of inhibitory receptors and a transcriptional state distinct from that of functional effector or memory T cells. Exhaustion prevents optimal control of infection and tumors. Recently, a clearer picture of the functional and phenotypic profile of exhausted T cells has emerged and T cell exhaustion has been defined in many experimental and clinical settings. Although the pathways involved remain to be fully defined, advances in the molecular delineation of T cell exhaustion are clarifying the underlying causes of this state of differentiation and also suggest promising therapeutic opportunities.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / immunology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Models, Immunological
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Virus Diseases / immunology

Substances

  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators