Spatiotemporal dynamics of effector CD8+ T cell responses within the liver

Donato Inverso, Matteo Iannacone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CD8+ T cells play a critical role in controlling hepatotropic viral infections, such as those caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. The capacity of these cells to protect against such pathogens is mediated by antigenexperienced effector cells and relies on their ability to home to the liver, recognize pathogen-derived antigens, and deploy effector functions. Here, we review how dynamic imaging of hepatic effector CD8+ T cell migration and function in mouse models of hepatitis B virus pathogenesis has recently revealed a unique and novel mode of adaptive immune surveillance. Circulating effector CD8+ T cells initially arrest within liver sinusoids by docking onto adherent platelets and then actively crawl along the liver vasculature, probing hepatocytes for the presence of antigens by extending protrusions through the fenestrated sinusoidal endothelial cells. Hepatocellular antigen recognition and effector functions occur while CD8+ T cells are still confined to the intravascular space and are inhibited by the pathologic processes that characterize liver fibrosis. A detailed understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of effector CD8+ T cells within the liver is important for the rational design of targeted immunotherapeutic approaches for chronic liver infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Antiviral immunity
  • Intravital imaging
  • Leukocyte trafficking
  • Tissue immunosurveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatiotemporal dynamics of effector CD8+ T cell responses within the liver'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this