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Immunologic Memory

  1. Alexander Ploss1,2,
  2. Eric G. Pamer1

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400123

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Ploss, A. and Pamer, E. G. 2006. Immunologic Memory. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA

  2. 2

    Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences of Cornell University, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Immunologic memory provides long-term protection against infectious pathogens and is the basis for all vaccinations. Long-term protection is mediated by specialized antigen-specific cells of the adaptive immune system, memory T- and B cell, as well as plasma cells. In response to an invading pathogen, naïve T cells specific for foreign antigen are primed by dendritic cells, expand and differentiate into effector cells that contribute to the clearance of the infection. After the initial immune response, most expanded T cells die and a small population of long-lived memory cells remains. Memory cells are qualitatively distinct from their antigen-inexperienced precursors since they proliferate and acquire their effector functions more rapidly upon repeat exposure to antigen.


  • Adaptive Immune Response;
  • Affinity Maturation;
  • Antigen;
  • Apoptosis;
  • Chemokine;
  • Clusters of Differentiation (CD);
  • Cytokine;
  • Cytotoxic T cell (CTL);
  • Dendritic Cells (DCs);
  • Helper CD4+ T Cell (Th Cells);
  • Homeostasis;
  • Immunity;
  • Immunoglobulin;
  • Interleukin (IL);
  • Lymphocyte;
  • Lymphatic System;
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC);
  • Pathogen;
  • Plasma Cells;
  • T-Cell Receptor (TCR);
  • Telomere;
  • Transgene;
  • Vaccination