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J Immunol. 2004 Jun 1;172(11):6533-7.

Cutting edge: effector memory CD8+ T cells play a prominent role in recall responses to secondary viral infection in the lung.

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  • 1Trudeau Institute, Saranac Lake, NY 12983, USA.


The relative contributions of CD62L(high) (central) memory and CD62L(low) (effector) memory T cell populations to recall responses are poorly understood, especially in the respiratory tract. In this study, we took advantage of a dual-adoptive transfer system in the mouse to simultaneously follow the recall response of effector and central memory subpopulations to intranasal parainfluenza virus infection. Using MHC class I and class II multimers, we tracked the responses of Ag-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) memory T cells in the same animals. The data show that effector memory T cells mounted recall responses that were equal to, or greater than, those mounted by central memory T cells. Moreover, effector memory T cells were more efficient at subsequently establishing a second generation of memory T cells. These data contrast with other studies indicating that central memory CD8(+) T cells are the prominent contributors to systemic virus infections.

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