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

305 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

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