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J Immunol. 1999 Oct 15;163(8):4125-32.

Induction and visualization of mucosal memory CD8 T cells following systemic virus infection.

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Division of Rheumatic Diseases, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030, USA.


Whether CD8 T cell memory exists outside secondary lymphoid organs is unclear. Using an adoptive transfer system that enables tracking of OVA-specific CD8 T cells, we explored the antigenic requirements for inducing CD8 T cell memory and identified intestinal mucosa memory cells. Although systemic immunization with soluble OVA induced clonal expansion, memory CD8 cells were not produced. In contrast, infection with virus-encoding OVA induced memory CD8 cells in the periphery and the lamina propria and intraepithelial compartments of the intestinal mucosa. Mucosal memory cells expressed a distinct array of adhesion molecules as compared with secondary lymphoid memory cells, suggesting that there may be separate mucosal and systemic memory pools. Mucosal CD8 memory cells rapidly produced IFN-gamma after Ag stimulation. Reactivation of memory cells by Ag feeding resulted in increased cell size and up-regulation of CD28 and CD11c. CD8 mucosal memory cells exhibited ex vivo lytic activity that was up-regulated dramatically following Ag reencounter in vivo. Interestingly, reactivation of memory cells did not require CD28-mediated costimulation. The ability of the intestinal mucosa to maintain CD8 memory cells provides a potential mechanism for effective mucosal vaccination.

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