Our results indicate that a substantial proportion of the antimicrobial CD8 and CD4 T cell response is focused in non-lymphoid tissues. This finding makes teleological sense since maximum protection against infection is better served by the widespread presence of effector and memory cells. In the case of CD8 T cells, it appears that irrespective of the site at which initial activation of naive cells occurs, the end result is production of effector cells with broad migratory capabilities. Memory T cells perhaps have more restricted migratory abilities as compared to effector cells, although this needs to be tested definitively. Our results suggest that memory CD8 T cells in the intestinal LP may not be part of the recirculating pool of memory cells, though our data does not preclude the possibility that migrants from outside the mucosa contribute to the LP memory pool. Our data also demonstrates that CD8 memory T cells in non-lymphoid tissue exhibit heightened effector function as compared to their splenic counterparts. Whether these findings indicate the existence of distinct lineages of memory cells remains to be seen. The functional abilities of migrating memory cells could be modulated by the migration process and/or by the environmental milieu of a particular tissue. Although the development of CD8 memory T cells is a complex process requiring multiple signalling pathways, we identified IL-7 as an important player in memory generation. Much further work is needed to decipher the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory induction as well as to learn the in vivo functional significance of memory cell subsets.