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Nat Immunol. 2002 Jun;3(6):558-63. Epub 2002 May 20.

Role for Bcl-6 in the generation and maintenance of memory CD8+ T cells.

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Department of Developmental Genetics (H2), Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba 260-8670, Japan.


Naïve T cells proliferate and differentiate into memory cells after antigenic stimulation or in a lymphopenic environment. We showed here transient increases in memory phenotype CD8+ T cell numbers in the lymphopenic environment of spleens of very young mice. The magnitude of the increase correlated with Bcl-6 expression in the T cells. Bcl-6 controlled the generation and maintenance of antigen-specific memory phenotype CD8+ T cells in the spleens of immunized mice. These data suggest that Bcl-6, which is essential for memory B cell development in germinal centers, is a key molecule for the establishment not only of memory T cells but also of the peripheral T cell compartment in infancy.

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