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Trends Immunol. 2007 Aug;28(8):333-9. Epub 2007 Jun 26.

TNF family ligands define niches for T cell memory.

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Department of Immunology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A8, Canada.


Immunological memory is a critical feature of the adaptive immune system and the underlying principal behind vaccination. The mechanisms that maintain memory T cell survival between the initial and subsequent encounter with antigen remain incompletely defined. Although the cytokines IL-15 and IL-7 are important in memory T cell homeostasis, additional signals by way of TNFR family members are required for maximal maintenance of T cell memory. Here we propose a unifying model in which subsets of TNF family ligands distinguish the competitive niches for maintenance of CD4 versus CD8 T cell memory. Understanding the unique 'memory niches' defined by TNF family ligand expression will provide new insights into the mechanisms of memory T cell maintenance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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