T cell regeneration after immunological injury

Nat Rev Immunol. 2021 May;21(5):277-291. doi: 10.1038/s41577-020-00457-z. Epub 2020 Oct 23.


Following periods of haematopoietic cell stress, such as after chemotherapy, radiotherapy, infection and transplantation, patient outcomes are linked to the degree of immune reconstitution, specifically of T cells. Delayed or defective recovery of the T cell pool has significant clinical consequences, including prolonged immunosuppression, poor vaccine responses and increased risks of infections and malignancies. Thus, strategies that restore thymic function and enhance T cell reconstitution can provide considerable benefit to individuals whose immune system has been decimated in various settings. In this Review, we focus on the causes and consequences of impaired adaptive immunity and discuss therapeutic strategies that can recover immune function, with a particular emphasis on approaches that can promote a diverse repertoire of T cells through de novo T cell formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Cellular Microenvironment / immunology
  • Cellular Microenvironment / physiology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Immunosenescence
  • Immunotherapy
  • Lymphopenia / immunology
  • Lymphopenia / therapy
  • Models, Immunological
  • Regeneration / immunology*
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Stress, Physiological / immunology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology