Influence of time and number of antigen encounters on memory CD8 T cell development

Matthew D. Martin, Vladimir P. Badovinac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


CD8 T cells are an important part of the adaptive immune system providing protection against intracellular bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. After infection and/or vaccination, increased numbers of antigen-specific CD8 T cells remain as a memory population that is capable of responding and providing enhanced protection during reinfection. Experimental studies indicate that while memory CD8 T cells can be maintained for great lengths of time, their properties change with time after infection and/or vaccination. However, the full scope of these changes and what effects they have on memory CD8 T cell function remain unknown. In addition, memory CD8 T cells can encounter antigen multiple times through either reinfection or prime-boost vaccine strategies designed to increase numbers of protective memory CD8 T cells. Importantly, recent studies suggest that memory CD8 T cell development following infection and/or vaccination is influenced by the number of times they have encountered cognate antigen. Since protection offered by memory CD8 T cells in response to infection depends on both the numbers and quality (functional characteristics) at the time of pathogen re-encounter, a thorough understanding of how time and antigen stimulation history impacts memory CD8 T cell properties is critical for the design of vaccines aimed at establishing populations of long-lived, protective memory CD8 T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-44
Number of pages10
JournalImmunologic Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CD8 T cells
  • Memory
  • Pathogens
  • Prime-boost
  • Survival
  • Vaccination


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