Send to

Choose Destination
Immunol Rev. 2006 Jun;211:154-63.

Homeostasis of memory T cells.

Author information

The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


The pool of memory T cells is regulated by homeostatic mechanisms to persist for prolonged periods at a relatively steady overall size. Recent work has shown that two members of the common gamma chain (gammac) family of cytokines, interleukin-7 (IL-7) and IL-15, govern homeostasis of memory T cells. These two cytokines work in conjunction to support memory T-cell survival and intermittent background proliferation. Normal animals contain significant numbers of spontaneously arising memory-phenotype (MP) cells, though whether these cells are representative of true antigen-specific memory T cells is unclear. Nevertheless, it appears that the two types of memory cells do not display identical homeostatic requirements. For antigen-specific memory CD8+ T cells, IL-7 is primarily important for survival while IL-15 is crucial for their background proliferation. For memory CD4+ T cells, IL-7 has an important role, whereas the influence of IL-15 is still unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center