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Semin Immunol. 2009 Apr;21(2):62-8. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2009.02.004. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Stem cell-like plasticity of naïve and distinct memory CD8+ T cell subsets.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany.


Most models regarding the 'clonal' origin of CD8(+) T cell effector and memory subset diversification suggest that during the first contact of a naïve T cell with the priming antigen-presenting cell major decisions for subsequent differentiation are made. Data using novel single-cell T cell tracking technologies demonstrate that a single naïve CD8(+) T cell can give rise to virtually all different subtypes of effector and memory T cells, and direct major determinants of subset diversification to the time period beyond the first cell division. Thereby, some 'stem cell-like' characteristics typical for naïve T cells are probably still maintained within distinct subsets of memory T cells. These observations have direct consequences for clinical applications like adoptive T cell therapy.

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