Document Type



Medicine and Health Sciences | Oncology


Premature death of the adoptively transferred cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL) by means of activation induced cell death (AICD) represents one of the major constraints in devising an effective anti-cancer immune intervention strategy. Understanding the mechanism of AICD is, therefore, critical for developing methods to interfere with this death process. Although the existing paradigm on AICD centers around the initiation of the cascade of events originating from the engagement of death receptors leading to the activation of effector caspases and eventually resulting in cell death, recent findings have questioned the universal role of caspases as the cell death executioners. We here review our current understanding of the contribution of caspase-dependent and caspase-independent death executioners in AICD of T cells. We will also discuss the involvement of mitochondria-centric death pathway in AICD of human tumor associated antigen specific primary CTL and its implications in cancer immunotherapy.


Vaccine. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 December 22. Published in final edited form as: Vaccine. 2010 June 23; 28(29): 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.04.074. Published online 2010 May 6. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.04.074 PMCID: PMC3870157 NIHMSID: NIHMS202739

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