Transcriptional control of effector and memory CD8+ T cell differentiation

Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Nov;12(11):749-61. doi: 10.1038/nri3307. Epub 2012 Oct 19.


During an infection, T cells can differentiate into multiple types of effector and memory T cells, which help to mediate pathogen clearance and provide long-term protective immunity. These cells can vary in their phenotype, function and location, and in their long-term fate in terms of their ability to populate the memory T cell pool. Over the past decade, the signalling pathways and transcriptional programmes that regulate the formation of heterogeneous populations of effector and memory CD8(+) T cells have started to be characterized, and this Review discusses the major advances in these areas.

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* / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory* / genetics
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic