Secondary Replicative Function of CD8+ T Cells That Had Developed an Effector Phenotype

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Science  23 Jan 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5913, pp. 505-509
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166831

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Models of the differentiation of memory CD8+ T cells that replicate during secondary infections differ over whether such cells had acquired effector function during primary infections. We created a transgenic mouse line that permits mapping of the fate of granzyme B (gzmB)–expressing CD8+ T cells and their progeny by indelibly marking them with enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP). Virus-specific CD8+ T cells express gzmB within the first 2 days of a primary response to infection with influenza, without impairment of continued primary clonal expansion. On secondary infection, virus-specific CD8+ T cells that became EYFP+ during a primary infection clonally expand as well as all virus-specific CD8+ T cells. Thus, CD8+ T cells that have acquired an effector phenotype during primary infection may function as memory cells with replicative function.

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