Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 925135, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/925135
Review Article

CD4+T Cells: Differentiation and Functions

1Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan 430071, China
2Center for Clinical Study of Intestinal Diseases, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan 430071, China
3Key Laboratory of Allergy and Immune-Related Diseases, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan 430071, China
4Department of Paediatrics, Renmin Hospital, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan 430071, China
5Clinical Centre of Intestinal and Colorectal diseases, Hubei, Wuhan 430071, China

Received 14 October 2011; Revised 12 December 2011; Accepted 26 December 2011

Academic Editor: Niels Olsen Saraiva Camara

Copyright © 2012 Rishi Vishal Luckheeram et al. 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 are crucial in achieving a regulated effective immune response to pathogens. Naive CD4+T cells are activated after interaction with antigen-MHC complex and differentiate into specific subtypes depending mainly on the cytokine milieu of the microenvironment. Besides the classical T-helper 1 and T-helper 2, other subsets have been identified, including T-helper 17, regulatory T cell, follicular helper T cell, and T-helper 9, each with a characteristic cytokine profile. For a particular phenotype to be differentiated, a set of cytokine signaling pathways coupled with activation of lineage-specific transcription factors and epigenetic modifications at appropriate genes are required. The effector functions of these cells are mediated by the cytokines secreted by the differentiated cells. This paper will focus on the cytokine-signaling and the network of transcription factors responsible for the differentiation of naive CD4+T cells.