Emerging Complexity in CD4+T Lineage Programming and Its Implications in Colorectal Cancer

Academic Article


  • The intestinal immune system has the difficult task of protecting a large environmentally exposed single layer of epithelium from pathogens without allowing inappropriate inflammatory responses. Unmitigated inflammation drives multiple pathologies, including the development of colorectal cancer. CD4+T cells mediate both the suppression and promotion of intestinal inflammation. They comprise an array of phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets tailored to a specific inflammatory context. This diversity of form and function is relevant to a broad array of pathologic and physiologic processes. The heterogeneity underlying both effector and regulatory T helper cell responses to colorectal cancer, and its impact on disease progression, is reviewed herein. Importantly, T cell responses are dynamic; they exhibit both quantitative and qualitative changes as the inflammatory context shifts. Recent evidence outlines the role of CD4+T cells in colorectal cancer responses and suggests possible mechanisms driving qualitative alterations in anti-cancer immune responses. The heterogeneity of T cells in colorectal cancer, as well as the manner and mechanism by which they change, offer an abundance of opportunities for more specific, and likely effective, interventional strategies.
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    Author List

  • DiToro D; Basu R
  • Volume

  • 12