CD8+ T-cell responses are influenced by ion abundance, which can widely vary within the tumor microenvironment. In this issue, Collier and colleagues investigated how intracellular versus extracellular potassium ion (K+) regulates intratumoral CD8+ T cells. They show that, while excessive extracellular K+ induces exhaustion, intracellular K+ is needed for protection from dysfunction. This work shows additional evidence that the regulation of CD8+ T-cell responses depends on a fine balance between intracellular and extracellular metabolite levels.

See related article by Collier et al., p. 36 (2).

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