Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Med. 2000 Aug 21;192(4):549-56.

Homeostasis-stimulated proliferation drives naive T cells to differentiate directly into memory T cells.

Author information

Center for Cancer Research and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


The developmental requirements for immunological memory, a central feature of adaptive immune responses, is largely obscure. We show that as naive CD8 T cells undergo homeostasis-driven proliferation in lymphopenic mice in the absence of overt antigenic stimulation, they progressively acquire phenotypic and functional characteristics of antigen-induced memory CD8 T cells. Thus, the homeostasis-induced memory CD8 T cells express typical memory cell markers, lyse target cells directly in vitro and in vivo, respond to lower doses of antigen than naive cells, and secrete interferon gamma faster upon restimulation. Like antigen-induced memory T cell differentiation, the homeostasis-driven process requires T cell proliferation and, initially, the presence of appropriate restricting major histocompatibility complexes, but it differs by occurring without effector cell formation and without requiring interleukin 2 or costimulation via CD28. These findings define repetitive cell division plus T cell receptor ligation as the basic requirements for naive to memory T cell differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center