A vital role for interleukin-21 in the control of a chronic viral infection.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Understanding the factors that regulate the induction, quality, and longevity of antiviral T cell responses is essential for devising rational strategies to prevent or combat infections. In this study, we show that interleukin-21 (IL-21), likely produced by CD4+ T cells, directly influences the generation of polyfunctional CD8+ T cells and that the number of CD4+ T cells that produce IL-21 differs markedly between acute and chronic infections. IL-21 regulates the development of CD8+ T cell exhaustion and the ability to contain chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection. Thus, IL-21 serves as a critical helper factor that shapes the functional quality of antiviral CD8+ T cells and is required for viral control.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yi, JS; Du, M; Zajac, AJ

Published Date

  • June 19, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 324 / 5934

Start / End Page

  • 1572 - 1576

PubMed ID

  • 19443735

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2736049

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1175194


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States