Stroke is a leading cause of death and long-term disability. T cells have been extensively studied for their dual role in regulating immunity and inflammation following stroke. In this issue of the JCI, Cai, Shi, et al. demonstrated that CD8+ regulatory-like T cells (CD8+ TRLs) are one of the earliest lymphocyte subtypes to enter the brain after experimental ischemic stroke. Using a mouse model of stroke and comprehensive experimental approaches, the authors found that CD8+ TRLs reduced both brain damage and functional deficits in both young and aged mice. These unique early responding regulatory T cells may also play a role in a wide array of other T cell–mediated neurological disorders.
Juneyoung Lee, Louise D. McCullough