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Curr Opin Immunol. 2001 Apr;13(2):248-54.

Generation and maintenance of memory T cells.

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Department of Immunology, IMM4, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Typical immune responses lead to the prominent clonal expansion of antigen-specific T cells followed by their differentiation into effector cells. Most effector cells die at the end of the immune response but some of the responding cells survive and form long-lived memory cells. The factors controlling the formation and survival of memory T cells are discussed. Recent evidence suggests that T memory cells arise from a subset of effector cells. The longevity of T memory cells may require continuous contact with cytokines, notably IL-15 for CD8(+) cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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