PerspectiveImmunology

CD8αα and T Cell Memory

Science  23 Apr 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5670, pp. 529-530
DOI: 10.1126/science.1097678

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Summary

Following a robust immune response to a foreign pathogen, most activated T cells die whereas a few survive to become memory T cells. Immunologists continue to debate how T cells know whether they are to become effector T cells that die at the end of the immune response or memory T cells that persist ready to respond to the same antigen if it is encountered again. In their Perspective, Kim and Flavell discuss new findings ( Madakamutil et al.) that identify the homotypic CD8 molecule, CD8, as the marker that tags a subpopulation of T cells to become memory cells.