Tc17 CD8 T cells: Functional plasticity and subset diversity

Hung Rong Yen, Timothy J. Harris, Satoshi Wada, Joseph F. Grosso, Derese Getnet, Monica V. Goldberg, Kai Li Liang, Tullia C. Bruno, Kristin J. Pyle, Siaw Li Chan, Robert A. Anders, Cornelia L. Trimble, Adam J. Adler, Tzou Yien Lin, Drew M. Pardoll, Ching Tai Huang, Charles G. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


IL-17-secreting CD8 T cells (Tc17) have been described in several settings, but little is known regarding their functional characteristics. While Tc1 cells produced IFN-γ and efficiently killed targets, Tc17 cells lacked lytic function in vitro. Interestingly, the small numbers of IFN-γ-positive or IL-17/IFN-γ-double-positive cells generated under Tc17 conditions also lacked lytic activity and expressed a similar pattern of cell surface proteins to IL-17-producing cells. As is the case for Th17 (CD4) cells, STAT3 is important for Tc17 polarization, both in vitro and in vivo. Adoptive transfer of highly purified, Ag-specific IL-17-secreting Tc17 cells into Ag-bearing hosts resulted in near complete conversion to an IFN-γ-secreting phenotype and substantial pulmonary pathology, demonstrating functional plasticity. Tc17 also accumulated to a greater extent than did Tc1 cells, suggesting that adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells cultured in Tc17 conditions may have therapeutic potential for diseases in which IFN-γ-producing cells are desired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7161-7168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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