Molecular basis for checkpoints in the CD8 T cell response: Tolerance versus activation

Matthew F. Mescher, Pujya Agarwal, Kerry A. Casey, Christopher D. Hammerbeck, Zhengguo Xiao, Julie M. Curtsinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


CD8 T cells specific for self-antigens are present in the peripheral lymphoid system and can contribute to autoimmunity or transplant rejection. Whether recognition of Ag leads to full activation, or to induction of tolerance, depends upon availability of cytokine at critical stages of the response. Signals provided by IL-12 and/or IFN-α/β are required for activation of naïve CD8 T cells, and IL-2 is needed to sustain and further expand the effector cells if Ag persists. These critical signaling requirements provide new insights into the factors that regulate the CD8 T cell contributions to development of autoimmunity or rejection of transplants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants RO1 AI34824 and PO1 AI35296.


  • Activation
  • Anergy
  • CD8 T lymphocyte
  • Differentiation
  • Peripheral tolerance


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