About this Journal Submit a Manuscript Table of Contents
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 954602, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/954602
Review Article

Cytotoxic CD4 T Cells in Antiviral Immunity

Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA

Received 2 July 2011; Accepted 9 September 2011

Academic Editor: Julie Curtsinger

Copyright © 2011 Nikki B. Marshall and Susan L. Swain. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

CD4 T cells that acquire cytotoxic phenotype and function have been repeatedly identified in humans, mice, and other species in response to many diverse pathogens. Since CD4 cytotoxic T cells are able to recognize antigenic determinants unique from those recognized by the parallel CD8 cytotoxic T cells, they can potentially contribute additional immune surveillance and direct effector function by lysing infected or malignant cells. Here, we briefly review much of what is known about the generation of cytotoxic CD4 T cells and describe our current understanding of their role in antiviral immunity. Furthering our understanding of the many roles of CD4 T cells during an anti-viral response is important for developing effective vaccine strategies that promote long-lasting protective immunity.