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J Immunol. 2012 Sep 1;189(5):2094-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1201639. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Cutting edge: lymphoid tissue inducer cells maintain memory CD4 T cells within secondary lymphoid tissue.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Centre for Immune Regulation, Institute for Biomedical Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.


Phylogeny shows that CD4 T cell memory and lymph nodes coevolved in placental mammals. In ontogeny, retinoic acid orphan receptor (ROR)γ-dependent lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi) cells program the development of mammalian lymph nodes. In this study, we show that although primary CD4 T cell expansion is normal in RORγ-deficient mice, the persistence of memory CD4 T cells is RORγ-dependent. Furthermore, using bone marrow chimeric mice we demonstrate that LTi cells are the key RORγ-expressing cell type sufficient for memory CD4 T cell survival in the absence of persistent Ag. This effect was specific for CD4 T cells, as memory CD8 T cells survived equally well in the presence or absence of LTi cells. These data demonstrate a novel role for LTi cells, archetypal members of the innate lymphoid cell family, in supporting memory CD4 T cell survival in vivo.

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