CD8+ T cells are critical for protecting the body from infectious disease. To achieve this protection, CD8+ T cells must undergo a highly involved process of differentiation that involves the activation of näve/quiescent cells followed by robust rounds of cell division and the acquisition of effector functions that mediate viral clearance. After the pathogen is eliminated, a small number of these cells survive into long-lived memory and maintain the capacity to respond rapidly and reacquire effector function after secondary exposure to their cognate antigen. This review focuses on how CD8+ T cells acquire and regulate effector functions and how the capacity to produce effector molecules is maintained into memory.
- CD8 T cells
- Epigenetics; influenza