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Nat Immunol. 2011 Jun;12(6):467-71.

Origins of CD4(+) effector and central memory T cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


Lineage-committed effector CD4(+) T cells are generated at the peak of the primary response and are followed by heterogeneous populations of central and effector memory cells. Here we review the evidence that T helper type 1 (T(H)1) effector cells survive the contraction phase of the primary response and become effector memory cells. We discuss the applicability of this idea to the T(H)2 cell, T(H)17 helper T cell, follicular helper T cell (T(FH) cell) and induced regulatory T cell lineages. We also discuss how central memory cells are formed, with an emphasis on the role of B cells in this process.

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