Review

Trained immunity: A program of innate immune memory in health and disease

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Science  22 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6284, aaf1098
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1098

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Training immune cells to remember

Classical immunological memory, carried out by T and B lymphocytes, ensures that we feel the ill effects of many pathogens only once. Netea et al.review how cells of the innate immune system, which lack the antigen specificity, clonality, and longevity of T cell and B cells, have some capacity to remember, too. Termed “trained immunity,” the property allows macrophages, monocytes, and natural killer cells to show enhanced responsiveness when they reencounter pathogens. Epigenetic changes largely drive trained immunity, which is shorter lived and less specific than classical memory but probably still gives us a leg up during many infections.

Science, this issue p. 10.1126/science.aaf1098