Viruses can cause a severe lymphopenia early in infection and a subsequent, lasting loss of pre-existing CD8+ memory T cells. We therefore questioned how well virus Ag-specific memory CD8+ T cells could reconstitute mice rendered lymphopenic as a consequence of genetics, irradiation, or viral or poly (I:C)-induced cytokines. In each case, reconstitution of the CD8+ compartment was associated with limited division of virus-specific memory T cells and a reduction in their proportion. This indicates that foreign Ag-experienced CD44highCD8+ memory T cells may respond differently to homeostatic signals than other CD44highCD8+ cells, and that events inducing lymphopenia may lead to a permanent reduction in T cell memory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy