Memory T-lymphocyte survival does not require T-cell receptor expression.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Dec 12;105(51):20440-5. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H1T 2M4.

The factors controlling memory T (Tm)-cell longevity are still poorly defined, and their identification is pivotal to the design of a vaccine conferring long-term protection against infection. Tm cells have the ability to survive in the absence of the T-cell receptor (TCR)-MHC interaction. This does not exclude a possible role for TCR-intrinsic ligand-independent constitutive signaling in Tm-cell homeostasis. Using a unique TCR tetracycline-inducible expression system, we show that the ablation of TCR expression, which abrogates any possible signaling via the TCR, did not influence the survival and self-renewal of antigen-specific CD8(+) Tm cells even when they have to compete with endogenous T cells for survival factors. Moreover, CD8(+) Tm-cell functionality was not altered even on prolonged maintenance in the absence of TCR-MHC interactions. Furthermore, our results show that a subset of CD4(+) Tm cells can survive in the absence of TCR expression in nonlymphopenic hosts.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0806289106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629296PMC
December 2008
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