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Blood. 2008 Sep 1;112(5):1557-69. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-05-078154.

CD4 T cells: fates, functions, and faults.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


In 1986, Mosmann and Coffman identified 2 subsets of activated CD4 T cells, Th1 and Th2 cells, which differed from each other in their pattern of cytokine production and their functions. Our understanding of the importance of the distinct differentiated forms of CD4 T cells and of the mechanisms through which they achieve their differentiated state has greatly expanded over the past 2 decades. Today at least 4 distinct CD4 T-cell subsets have been shown to exist, Th1, Th2, Th17, and iTreg cells. Here we summarize much of what is known about the 4 subsets, including the history of their discovery, their unique cytokine products and related functions, their distinctive expression of cell surface receptors and their characteristic transcription factors, the regulation of their fate determination, and the consequences of their abnormal activation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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