It is now clear that T cells can self-renew upon specific stimulatory conditions and simultaneously generate more differentiated progeny. This degree of stemness is gradually lost with the state of peripheral differentiation. According to this model, T memory stem cells (TSCM) are at theapex of the differentiation program. By using in vitro models of differentiation from naïve T cell precursors, genetic approaches and gene expression technologies, we are currently studying the molecular mechanisms leading to TSCM cell formation and maintenance (Figure 1). We aim to generate more potent and durable T cells to be used in adoptive cell transfer approaches for cancer and chronic viral infections
Figure 1. Cytokine signals regulate the differentiation of T cells with different metabolic, persistence and functional capacity.