Sepsis-induced t cell immunoparalysis: The ins and outs of impaired T cell immunity

Isaac J. Jensen, Frances V. Sjaastad, Thomas S Griffith, Vladimir P. Badovinac

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Sepsis results in a deluge of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, leading to lymphopenia and chronic immunoparalysis. Sepsis-induced long-lasting immunoparalysis is defined, in part, by impaired CD4 and CD8 αβ T cell responses in the postseptic environment. The dysfunction in T cell immunity affects naive, effector, and memory T cells and is not restricted to classical αβ T cells. Although sepsis-induced severe and transient lymphopenia is a contributory factor to diminished T cell immunity, T cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors/ mechanisms also contribute to impaired T cell function. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of how sepsis quantitatively and qualitatively impairs CD4 and CD8 T cell immunity of classical and nonclassical T cell subsets and discuss current therapeutic approaches being developed to boost the recovery of T cell immunity postsepsis induction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1553
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

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