Recent studies have established resident memory T cells (TRM) as the dominant memory lymphocyte population surveying most nonlymphoid tissues. Unlike other memory T cell lineages, TRM do not recirculate through blood and are permanently confined to their tissue of residence. TRM orchestrate local immune responses and have been shown to accelerate local pathogen control in many experimental infection models. Here we briefly summarize recent advances in TRM differentiation, maintenance, and their protective function. While little is known, we have speculated on the potential implications of TRM for transplantation biology. Areas of emphasis include the role of passenger TRM in controlling latent viral recrudescence in donor organs, donor TRM as a source of graft-versus-host disease, the ability of TRM to potently induce inflammation through sensing and alarm functions, and differentiation of host T cells into TRM in response to local cues inside the allograft. Further investigation of TRM in the context of transplantation might identify therapeutic targets to prolong graft survival.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grants 1R01AI111671 and 2R01AI084913 (D.M.). The authors thank members of the Masopust and Vezys laboratories for critical comments. We apologize in advance to authors whose work could not be cited because of space limitations.
© 2016 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- T cell biology
- basic (laboratory) research/science
- clinical research/practice
- graft-versus-host disease (GVHD)
- immunosuppression/immune modulation
- lymphocyte biology
- lymphocyte biology: differentiation/maturation
- organ transplantation in general