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Curr Opin Immunol. 2010 Jun;22(3):279-85. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2010.03.008. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Effector and memory CD8+ T cell differentiation: toward a molecular understanding of fate determination.

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Division of Immunology, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


CD8(+) T cells play a key role in protecting the body against invading microorganisms. Their capacity to control infection relies on the development of peripheral effector and memory T cells. Much of our current knowledge has been gained by tracking alterations of the phenotype of CD8(+) T cells but the molecular understanding of the events that underpin the emergence of heterogeneous effector and memory CD8(+) T cells in response to infection has remained limited. This review focuses on the recent progress in our understanding of the molecular wiring of this differentiation process.

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