CD8+ regulatory T cells in persistent human viral infections

Eva Billerbeck, Robert Thimme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Regulatory T cells (Treg cells) play an important role in the regulation and suppression of immune responses to self- and foreign antigens. Suppressed and impaired host immune responses are a major characteristic of many persistent human virus infections, such as those caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and herpes virus. It has recently become evident that immune regulation mediated by Treg cells may comprise one mechanism that contributes to the impairment of virus-specific immune responses. Indeed, during viral infection, the generation of distinct subsets of CD4+ as well as CD8+ Treg cells has been reported. The phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of Treg cell subsets involved in the suppression of virus-specific immune responses suggests that different mechanisms and factors contribute to the generation of those cells during viral infection. This review focuses on the CD8+ Treg cell subset and summarizes current knowledge about the induction and function of CD8+ Treg cells in persistent human virus infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-775
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CD8+ regulatory T cells
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Immune suppression
  • Viral infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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