Department of Immunology, Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
It has been proposed that expression of the chemokine receptor CCR7 represents a defining factor for nonpolarized central (CCR7(+)) and polarized effector memory (CCR7(-)) T cells. In this study, we have tested this hypothesis using in vivo-activated T cells from P14 and SMARTA TCR-transgenic (tg) mice specific for MHC class I- and II-restricted epitopes of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) glycoprotein. CCR7 cell surface expression on TCR-tg cells was monitored with a CC chemokine ligand 19-Ig fusion protein. CC chemokine ligand 19-Ig staining separated TCR-tg cells activated by LCMV infection into CCR7(-) and CCR7(+) effector/memory T cell populations. Nonetheless, both T cell populations isolated from spleen and liver produced identical amounts of IFN-gamma after short-term Ag stimulation. Furthermore, CCR7(+) and CCR7(-) CD8 TCR-tg cells from LCMV-infected mice exhibited similar lytic activity against LCMV peptide-coated target cells. These results question the proposed concept of differential effector cell function of CCR7(+) and CCR7(-) memory T cells.