From Cell Biology to Tissue Engineering



Involvement of autophagy in T cell biology

Ozlem Oral1, Ozlem Yedier2*, Seval Kilic2* and Devrim Gozuacik2

1Nanotechnology Research and Application Center, Sabanci University, and 2Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Bioengineering Program, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey
*Equally contributed second authors

Offprint requests to: Ozlem Oral, Nanotechnology Research and Application Center, Sabanci University, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. e-mail: ozlemoral@sabanciuniv.edu

Summary. Autophagy is an essential cellular pathway that sequesters various cytoplasmic components, including accumulated proteins, damaged organelles or invading microorganisms and delivers them to lysosomes for degradation. The function of autophagy has been reported in various tissues and systems, including its role in the regulation of cellular immunity. Autophagy plays a fundamental role at various stages of T cell maturation. It regulates the thymocyte selection and the generation of T cell repertoire by presenting intracellular antigens to MHC class molecules. Autophagy is crucial for metabolic regulation of T cells, and therefore supports cell survival and homeostasis, particularly in activated mature T cells. Furthermore, deletion of specific autophagy-related genes induces several immunological alterations including differentiation of activated T cells into regulatory, memory or natural killer T cells. In this review, we emphasize the impact of autophagy on T cell development, activation and differentiation, which is pivotal for the adaptive immune system. Histol Histopathol 32, 11-20 (2017)

Key words: Autophagy, T cells homeostasis, T cells function, Adaptive immune system

DOI: 10.14670/HH-11-785