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The Tower of Babel of CD8+ T-cell memory: known facts, deserted roads, muddy waters, and possible dead ends

Authors

  • Benedita Rocha,

    Corresponding author
    1. INSERM U591, Institut Necker, Faculty of Medecine René Descartes Paris V, Paris, France.
      Benedita Rocha
      INSERM U591
      Institut Necker
      Faculty of Medecine René Descartes Paris V
      156 rue de Vaugirard
      75015 Paris
      France
      Tel.: +33 1 4061 5360
      Fax: +33 1 4061 5580
      E-mail: rocha@necker.fr
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Corinne Tanchot

    1. INSERM U591, Institut Necker, Faculty of Medecine René Descartes Paris V, Paris, France.
    Search for more papers by this author

Benedita Rocha
INSERM U591
Institut Necker
Faculty of Medecine René Descartes Paris V
156 rue de Vaugirard
75015 Paris
France
Tel.: +33 1 4061 5360
Fax: +33 1 4061 5580
E-mail: rocha@necker.fr

Abstract

Summary:  Adequate antigen stimulation can lead to permanent modifications of primed cells and to the generation of memory T cells that have astonishingly improved capacities to deal with antigen. The overall properties of memory T cells (increased survival, precocious and increased division capacities, and improved effector functions) can be used to identify this unique cell type. However, each immune response may lead to the generation of multiple primed types that do not necessarily possess all these characteristics. It is not known whether these different cell types are just side products of the immune reaction or whether they are involved in disease control. Control of different infections may involve different challenges and lead to the generation of different types of immune reactions. Our major challenge is to unravel this complexity, but we must overcome our handicapped experimental tests and our imperfect a priori definitions.

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