Following infection, T cells differentiate into a heterogeneous population of effector T cells that can mediate pathogen clearance. A subset of these effector T cells possesses the ability to survive long term and mature into memory T cells that can provide long-term immunity. Understanding the signals that regulate the development of memory T cells is crucial to efforts to design vaccines capable of eliciting T cell-based immunity. CD4+ T cells are essential in the formation of protective memory CD8+ T cells following infection or immunization. However, until recently, the mechanisms by which CD4+ T cells act to support memory CD8+ T cell development following infection were unclear. Here, we discuss recent studies that provide insight into the multifaceted role of CD4+ T cells in the regulation of memory CD8+ T cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


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