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Immunol Rev. 2018 May;283(1):161-175. doi: 10.1111/imr.12649.

Memory CD8 T cell inflation vs tissue-resident memory T cells: Same patrollers, same controllers?

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Institute of Microbiology, Department of Biology, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.


The induction of long-lived populations of memory T cells residing in peripheral tissues is of considerable interest for T cell-based vaccines, as they can execute immediate effector functions and thus provide protection in case of pathogen encounter at mucosal and barrier sites. Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-based vaccines support the induction and accumulation of a large population of effector memory CD8 T cells in peripheral tissues, in a process called memory inflation. Tissue-resident memory (TRM ) T cells, induced by various infections and vaccination regimens, constitute another subset of memory cells that take long-term residence in peripheral tissues. Both memory T cell subsets have evoked substantial interest in exploitation for vaccine purposes. However, a direct comparison between these two peripheral tissue-localizing memory T cell subsets with respect to their short- and long-term ability to provide protection against heterologous challenge is pending. Here, we discuss communalities and differences between TRM and inflationary CD8 T cells with respect to their development, maintenance, function, and protective capacity. In addition, we discuss differences and similarities between the transcriptional profiles of TRM and inflationary T cells, supporting the notion that they are distinct memory T cell populations.


memory CD8 T cells; peripheral tissues; protection

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