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Annu Rev Immunol. 1991;9:193-217.

Memory B and T cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.

Abstract

Three remarkable and unique features of the immune system are specificity, diversity, and memory. Immunological memory involves both T and B cells and results in a secondary antibody response that is faster, of higher affinity, and results in the secretion of non-IgM isotypes of Ig. In this review we discuss the properties of memory T and B cells, their specific receptors, and the events which occur both in the nucleus and on the cell surface during generation and activation of these cells. Although memory T and B cells use different mechanisms to elaborate memory, there are a number of interesting analogies: lymphokines vs antibodies and affinity maturation of B cell antigen receptors vs upregulation of adhesion molecules on T cells. Finally, we discuss the importance of these cells in health and disease and suggest what impact additional information about these cells might have on the manipulation of the immune response.

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