Sensing and alarm function of resident memory CD8 + T cells

Jason M Schenkel, Kathryn A Fraser, Vaiva Vezys, David Masopust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

447 Scopus citations


CD8+ T cells eliminate intracellular infections through two contact-dependent effector functions: cytolysis and secretion of antiviral cytokines. Here we identify the following additional function for memory CD8+ T cells that persist at front-line sites of microbial exposure: to serve as local sensors of previously encountered antigens that precipitate innate-like alarm signals and draw circulating memory CD8+ T cells into the tissue. When memory CD8+ T cells residing in the female mouse reproductive tract encountered cognate antigen, they expressed interferon-γ (IFN-γ), potentiated robust local expression of inflammatory chemokines and induced rapid recruitment of circulating memory CD8+ T cells. Anamnestic responses in front-line tissues are thus an integrated collaboration between front-line and circulating populations of memory CD8+ T cells, and vaccines should establish both populations to maximize rapid responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalNature immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Mescher (University of Minnesota) for IFN-γ-deficient OT-I mice, and S. Jameson for discussions. Supported by the US National Institutes of Health (R01AI084913-01 to D.M., DP2OD006467 (by the Office of The Director) to D.M., and T32AI007313 to J.M.S.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the US National Institutes of Health.


Dive into the research topics of 'Sensing and alarm function of resident memory CD8 + T cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this