, Volume 39, Issue 1-3, pp 94-104
Date: 31 May 2007

CD8 T cell memory development: CD4 T cell help is appreciated

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Abstract

An important goal of vaccination strategies is to elicit long term, effective immunity. Therefore it is imperative to define the parameters that regulate the development and preservation of the numbers and functional quality of cells that confer this property to the host. CD8 T cells are a key component of the host adaptive immune response that helps eradicate invading viruses and other cell-associated pathogens. Once the primary infection is controlled, the CD8 T cells transition from being effector cells into memory cells that act as sentinels of the immune system capable of rapidly purging the host of recurrent infections by the same pathogen. The factors that regulate and orchestrate this transition from effector CD8 T cells into functionally robust memory CD8 T cells are poorly understood. In recent years it has been determined that CD4 T cells play a vital role in the survival and functional responsiveness of memory CD8 T cells. However, the mechanism(s) of this interaction are still unclear.