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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Druckformat: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v21.i6.20
36 pages

Lymphokine-Dependent Proliferation of T-Lymphoid Cells: Regulated Responsiveness and Role In Vivo

Mark Boothby
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, TN
Ana L. Mora
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, TN
Linda M. Stephenson
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical School, Nashville, TN


The discovery of lymphokines stemmed from their ability to promote T-lymphocyte proliferation in vitro. Even after 20 years of in tensive investigation , crucial aspects remain to be c larified about the role of specific lymphokines in T-cell proliferation and the biochemical mechanisms by which they play these roles, particularly in vivo. The present review focuses on conventional populations of TCRab T cells. Older findings and new insights into the function of specific lymphokines in T-lymphocyte proliferation in vivo are summarized along with unanswered questions raised by these observations. Vital contributions of lymphokines to clonal proliferation arise from two processes: the protection of cells against apoptosis and the activation of cell cycling. Findings are underscored indicating that the activity of a particular lymphokine depends on the subset of T cells (CD4 vs. CD8; naive vs. memory) to which it binds, and that point to potential pitfalls of extrapolating from tissue culture-adapted models to the regulation of T cells in vivo. After summaries of signaling mechanisms related to the proliferative activity of lymphokines, recent findings are highlighted suggesting that such signaling is a regulated and plastic process rather than one fixed schema of action.

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