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Immunity. 2009 May;30(5):646-55. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.05.001.

Plasticity of CD4+ T cell lineage differentiation.

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  • 1The Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at the Skirball Institute, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.

Abstract

The differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cells into lineages with distinct effector functions has been considered to be an irreversible event. T helper type 1 (Th1) cells stably express IFN-gamma, whereas Th2 cells express IL-4. The discovery and investigation of two other CD4(+) T cell subsets, induced regulatory T (iTreg) cells and Th17 cells, has led to a rethinking of the notion that helper T cell subsets represent irreversibly differentiated endpoints. Accumulating evidence suggests that CD4(+) T cells, particularly iTreg and Th17 cells, are more plastic than previously appreciated. It appears that expression of Foxp3 by iTreg cells or IL-17 by Th17 cells may not be stable and that there is a great degree of flexibility in their differentiation options. Here, we will discuss recent findings that demonstrate the plasticity of CD4(+) T cell differentiation and the biological implications of this flexibility.

PMID:
19464987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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