Send to

Choose Destination
Crit Rev Immunol. 1998;18(6):569-94.

CD4+ T cells orchestrate both amplification and deletion of CD8+ T cells.

Author information

Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.


This review focuses on the role of CD4+ T cells in regulating immune responses, orchestrating both the amplification and deletion of immune cells, particularly CD8+ T cells. These two functions, which represent only an apparent contradiction, appear to be two faces of the same process of regulation. In fact, because the immune response, once activated, needs to be carefully controlled or switched off when the antigenic stimulus is eliminated, the immune system has developed several strategies either to regulate clonal amplification or to avoid useless expansion of activated cells. In particular, we have reported many data demonstrating that CD4+ T cells may be indicated as the regulatory element in the activation as well as the deletion of CD8+ T cells. New data are also reported on the ability of anergic CD4+ T cells to suppress CD8+ T-cell activation through induction of apoptosis, and on the need for CD8+ T cells for antigen recognition in inducing cell death in CD4+ T cells. Moreover, the central role of CD4+ T cells in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance has been widely described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center