PD-1+ stemlike CD8 T cells are resident in lymphoid tissues during persistent LCMV infection

Se Jin Im, Bogumila T. Konieczny, William H. Hudson, David Masopust, Rafi Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The migratory patterns of virus-specific CD8 T cells during chronic viral infection are not well understood. To address this issue, we have done parabiosis experiments during chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection of mice. We found that despite the high frequency of virus-specific CD8 T cells in both lymphoid and nonlymphoid tissues there was minimal migration of virus-specific CD8 T cells between the chronically infected conjoined parabiont mice. This was in contrast to parabionts between mice that had undergone an acute LCMV infection where virusspecific CD8 T cells established equilibrium demonstrating circulation of memory T cells generated after viral clearance. We have identified a population of PD-1+ TCF1+CXCR5+Tim-3- stemlike virus-specific CD8 T cells that reside in lymphoid tissues and act as resource cells for maintaining the T cell response during chronic infection. These are the cells that proliferate and give rise to the more terminally differentiated PD-1+ CXCR5-Tim-3+ CD8 T cells. Both the stemlike CD8 T cells and their terminally differentiated progeny showed minimal migration during chronic infection and the few LCMV-specific CD8 T cells that were present in circulation were the recently emerging progeny from the stemlike CD8 T cells. The PD-1+ TCF1+CXCR5+ stemlike CD8 T cells were truly resident in lymphoid tissues and did not circulate in the blood. We propose that this residency in specialized niches within lymphoid tissues is a key aspect of their biology and is essential for maintaining their quiescence and stemlike program under conditions of a chronic viral infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4292-4299
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 25 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. This work was supported by Grants R01 AI030048 and P01 AI056299 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the NIH (to R.A.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Chronic viral infection
  • PD-1
  • Stemlike CD8 T cells
  • T cell exhaustion
  • T cell migration


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