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Immunity. 2004 May;20(5):551-62.

Dynamics of blood-borne CD8 memory T cell migration in vivo.

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Division of Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030 USA.


Memory T cells are distributed throughout the body following infection, but the migratory dynamics of the memory pool in vivo is unknown. The ability of circulating microbe-specific memory T cells to populate lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues was examined using adoptive transfer and parabiosis systems. While migration of memory CD8 T cells to lymph nodes and peritoneal cavity required G(i)-coupled receptor signaling, migration to the spleen, bone marrow, lung, and liver was independent of this pathway. Following parabiosis, memory T cells rapidly equilibrated into the lymphoid tissues, lung, and liver of each parabiont, implying most memory cells were not obligately tissue resident. Equilibration of memory cell populations was delayed in the brain, peritoneal cavity, and intestinal lamina propria, indicating controlled gating for entry into these tissues. In addition, memory cell migration to the lamina propria required beta7 integrins. Thus, the blood-borne T cell pool serves to maintain the homeostasis of tissue-based memory populations.

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