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Nat Immunol. 2000 Jul;1(1):47-53.

Response of naïve and memory CD8+ T cells to antigen stimulation in vivo.

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INSERM U.345, Institut Necker, Paris, France.


We studied the influence of memory T cell properties on the efficiency of secondary immune responses by comparing the in vivo immune response of the same numbers of T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic (Tg) naïve and memory T cells. Compared to naïve Tg cells, memory cells divided after a shorter lag time; had an increased division rate; a lower loss rate; and showed more rapid and efficient differentiation to effector functions. We found that initial naïve T cell priming resulted in cells expressing mutually exclusive effector functions, whereas memory T cells were multifunctional after reactivation, with each individual cell expressing two to three different effector functions simultaneously. These special properties of memory T cells ensure the immediate control of reinfection.

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