The liver's unique characteristics have a profound impact on the priming and maintenance of adaptive immunity. This review delves into the cellular circuits that regulate adaptive immune responses in the liver, with a specific focus on hepatitis B virus infection as an illustrative example. A key aspect highlighted is the liver's specialized role in priming CD8+ T cells, leading to a distinct state of immune hyporesponsiveness. Additionally, the influence of the liver's hemodynamics and anatomical features, particularly during liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, on the differentiation and function of adaptive immune cells is discussed. While the primary emphasis is on CD8+ T cells, recent findings regarding the involvement of B cells and CD4+ T cells in hepatic immunity are also reviewed. Furthermore, we address the challenges ahead and propose integrating cutting-edge techniques, such as spatial biology, and combining mouse models with human sample analyses to gain comprehensive insights into the liver's adaptive immunity. This understanding could pave the way for novel therapeutic strategies targeting infectious diseases, malignancies, and inflammatory liver conditions like nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 42 is April 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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