Article

Phenotype and Function of Human T Lymphocyte Subsets: Consensus and Issues

Cellular Immunology Laboratory, INSERM U543, Avenir Group, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris6, 75013 Paris, France.
Cytometry Part A (Impact Factor: 2.93). 11/2008; 73(11):975-83. DOI: 10.1002/cyto.a.20643
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

In recent years, a tremendous effort has been devoted to the detailed characterization of the phenotype and function of distinct T cell subpopulations in humans, as well as to their pathway(s) of differentiation and role in immune responses. But these studies seem to have generated more questions than definitive answers. To clarify issues related to the function and differentiation of T cell subsets, one session of the MASIR 2008 conference was dedicated to this topic. Several points of consensus and discord were highlighted in the work presented during this session. We provide here an account of these points, including the relative heterogeneity of T cell subpopulations during infections with distinct pathogens, the relationship between phenotypic and functional T cell attributes, and the pathway(s) of T cell differentiation. Finally, we discuss the problems which still limit general agreement.

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    • "Furthermore, the dynamic nature of biological processes occurs at varying time scales (for e.g., early vs. delayed and transient vs. stable responses), requiring continuous real-time evaluation of single cell outcomes as opposed to end-point analysis. This is particularly evident in case of immune reaction analysis, which consists of various types of cells, each categorized into multiple phenotypic and functional subsets[5]. Currently, flow cytometry is considered the gold standard for single cell analysis due to its high-throughput and multiplexing capability[6,7]. "

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    • "Following antigenic recognition, autoreactive CD8+ T cells undergo clonal expansion and differentiate into different subsets, including central-memory (T CM ), effector-memory (T EM ) and effector (T EFF ) cells characterized by changes in extracellular receptors such as, the isoform of common lymphocyte antigen, CD45RA, chemokine receptor CCR7 (CD197) and intracellular expression of effector molecules [12] [13]. The pattern of differentiation is mainly determined by the strength and duration of antigenic signal and requires aid of CD4+ T cells [14] [15] [16] [17]. Hence, besides frequency, determination of phenotype of autoreactive CD8+ T cells also becomes important in monitoring disease progression in T1D subjects or individuals at risk and assessing efficacy of therapeutic or transplant approaches [18] [19]. "
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