Role of CD4 cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the control of viral diseases and cancer

Debora Martorelli, Elena Muraro, Anna Merlo, Riccardo Turrini, Antonio Rosato, Riccardo Dolcetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our knowledge on the physiological role of CD4 T lymphocytes has improved in the last decade: available data convincingly demonstrate that, besides the 'helper' activity, CD4 T cells may be also endowed with lytic properties. The cytotoxic function of these effector cells has a relevant role in the control of pathogenic infections and in mediating antitumor immune responses. On these bases, several immunotherapeutic approaches exploiting the cytotoxic properties of CD4 T cells are under investigation. This review summarizes available data supporting the functional and therapeutic relevance of cytotoxic CD4 T cells, with a particular focus on Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related disorders. ©

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-402
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Cancer
  • CD T cells
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Epstein-Barr virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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