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Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Aug;15(8):486-99. doi: 10.1038/nri3862.

Molecular and cellular insights into T cell exhaustion.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Institute for Immunology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Abstract

In chronic infections and cancer, T cells are exposed to persistent antigen and/or inflammatory signals. This scenario is often associated with the deterioration of T cell function: a state called 'exhaustion'. Exhausted T cells lose robust effector functions, express multiple inhibitory receptors and are defined by an altered transcriptional programme. T cell exhaustion is often associated with inefficient control of persisting infections and tumours, but revitalization of exhausted T cells can reinvigorate immunity. Here, we review recent advances that provide a clearer molecular understanding of T cell exhaustion and reveal new therapeutic targets for persisting infections and cancer.

PMID:
26205583
PMCID:
PMC4889009
DOI:
10.1038/nri3862
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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