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Curr Opin Immunol. 1993 Jun;5(3):433-8.

Lifespans of naive, memory and effector lymphocytes.

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Department of Immunology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037.


Typical T and B lymphocytes in the secondary lymphoid organs are long-lived cells that are selected from a large pool of short-lived precursor cells in the primary lymphoid organs. The bulk of mature T and B cells are immunologically naive and remain in interphase for prolonged periods. Contact with specific antigen causes these naive cells to proliferate rapidly and differentiate into a mixture of short-lived effector cells and long-lived memory cells. Memory cells have a rapid turnover, and the survival of these cells appears to require persistent contact with antigen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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