The functional plasticity of T cell subsets

Jeffrey A Bluestone, Charles Reay Mackay, John J O'Shea, Brigitta Stockinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

174 Citations (Scopus)


In 1986, Robert Coffman and Timothy Mossman first described the division of CD4(+) T cells into functional subsets, termed T helper 1 (T(H)1) and T(H)2, based on cytokine production, and in doing so unwittingly opened a Pandora s box of complexity and controversy. Although the mechanisms that regulate T(H)1 and T(H)2 cells are now well known, recent descriptions of other CD4(+) T cell subsets - such as regulatory T cells, T follicular helper cells, T(H)17, T(H)22 and most recently T(H)9 and T(H)22 cells - have questioned how we think of T cell subsets and what commitment to a functional T cell subset means. Here, Nature Reviews Immunology asks four leaders in the field their thoughts on the functional plasticity of T cell subsets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811 - 816
Number of pages6
JournalNature Reviews Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Cite this

Bluestone, J. A., Mackay, C. R., O'Shea, J. J., & Stockinger, B. (2009). The functional plasticity of T cell subsets. Nature Reviews Immunology, 9(11), 811 - 816.