SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Activated CD8+ T cells migrate to the liver at the end of an immune response and go through apoptosis there, but this mechanism is impaired in mice lacking Toll-like receptor-4. This allowed us to test the importance of liver trapping in an ongoing immune response. In the absence of Toll-like receptor-4, reduced liver accumulation was associated with an increase in the circulating CD8+ T cell pool, more long-lived memory T cells and increased CD8+ T cell memory responses. Using experimental orthotopic liver transplantation, we showed that the effect of Toll-like receptor-4 on the formation of the CD8+ T cell memory resides in the liver. Conclusion: These studies reveal a new function for the liver, which is to regulate the magnitude of T cell memory responses through a Toll-like receptor-4–dependent mechanism. (HEPATOLOGY 2007;45:178–186.)