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Exhausted T Cells Can Rally Given Right Circumstances

By Anette Breindl
Science Editor

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The immune system is able to kick out many viral invaders after a few days to weeks. But others can come to be in a permanent standoff with the immune system, controlled but not eliminated altogether. In chronic viral infection, CD8 "killer" T cells enter a state that has been called "exhausted." Such cells no longer produce cytokines to any appreciable effect, and many scientists thought they were incapable of dividing.

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