Integrating resident memory into T cell differentiation models

Pamela C. Rosato, Sathi Wijeyesinghe, J. Michael Stolley, David Masopust

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Advances in the field of T cell memory, including the discovery of tissue residency, continue to add to the list of defined T cell subsets. Here, we briefly review the role of resident memory T cells (TRM) in protective immunity, and propose that they exhibit developmental and migrational plasticity. We discuss T cell classification, the concept of cell type versus ‘subset’, and the difficulty of inferring developmental relationships between cells occupying malleable differentiation states. We propose that popular subsetting strategies do not perfectly define boundaries of developmental potential. We integrate TRM into a ‘terrace’ model that classifies memory T cells along a continuous axis of decreasing developmental potential. This model also segregates cells on the basis of migration properties, although different migration properties are viewed as parallel differentiation states that may be permissive to change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-42
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the members of the Masopust laboratory, particularly Andrew G. Soerens, and Vaiva Vezys for insightful discussions. The authors’ work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health – AI084913 (DM), DK114942 (SW), DE022732 (JMS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


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