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T cell responses in the central nervous system

Nat Rev Immunol. 2017 Jan 31. doi: 10.1038/nri.2016.144. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Korn T, Kallies A.
Publication Date: 2017



T cells are required for immune surveillance of the central nervous system (CNS); however, they can also induce severe immunopathology in the context of both viral infections and autoimmunity. The mechanisms that are involved in the priming and recruitment of T cells to the CNS are only partially understood, but there has been renewed interest in this topic since the ‘rediscovery’ of lymphatic drainage from the CNS. Moreover, tissue-resident memory T cells have been detected in the CNS and are increasingly recognized as an autonomous line of host defence. In this Review, we highlight the main mechanisms that are involved in the priming and CNS recruitment of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells and regulatory T cells. We also consider the plasticity of T cell responses in the CNS, with a focus on viral infection and autoimmunity.


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