Mechanism of T cell exhaustion in a chronic environment

Hyun Tak Jin, Yun Hee Jeong, Hyo Jin Park, Sang Jun Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

T cell exhaustion develops under conditions of antigenpersistence caused by infection with various chronic pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), or by the development of cancer. T cell exhaustion is characterized by stepwise and progressive loss of T cell function, which is probably the main reason for the failed immunological control of chronic pathogens and cancers. Recent observations have detailed some of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that influence the severity of T cell exhaustion. Duration and magnitude of antigenic activation of T cells might be associated with up-regulation of inhibitory receptors, which is a major intrinsic factor of T cell exhaustion. Extrinsic factors might include the production of suppressive cytokines, T cell priming by either non-professional antigenpresenting cells (APCs) or tolerogenic dendritic cells (DCs), and alteration of regulatory T (Treg) cells. Further investigation of the cellular and molecular processes behind the development of T cell exhaustion can reveal therapeutic targets and strategies for the treatment of chronic infections and cancers. Here, we report the properties and the mechanisms of T cell exhaustion in a chronic environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-231
Number of pages15
JournalBMB reports
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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