Studying T Cell Responses to Hepatotropic Viruses in the Liver Microenvironment

Jarrett Lopez-Scarim, Shashank Manohar Nambiar, Eva Billerbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


T cells play an important role in the clearance of hepatotropic viruses but may also cause liver injury and contribute to disease progression in chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections which affect millions of people worldwide. The liver provides a unique microenvironment of immunological tolerance and hepatic immune regulation can modulate the functional properties of T cell subsets and influence the outcome of a virus infection. Extensive research over the last years has advanced our understanding of hepatic conventional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and unconventional T cell subsets and their functions in the liver environment during acute and chronic viral infections. The recent development of new small animal models and technological advances should further increase our knowledge of hepatic immunological mechanisms. Here we provide an overview of the existing models to study hepatic T cells and review the current knowledge about the distinct roles of heterogeneous T cell populations during acute and chronic viral hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number681
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • T cells
  • animal models
  • hepatitis A–E
  • hepatotropic virus infection
  • liver immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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