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Human T Cell Memory: A Dynamic View

Institute for Infection & Immunity, St George’s, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0QT, UK
Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Department of Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Department of Medicine, Imperial College London W2 1PG, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen Todryk
Vaccines 2017, 5(1), 5;
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 January 2017 / Published: 4 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue T Cell Memory to Vaccination)
Long-term T cell-mediated protection depends upon the formation of a pool of memory cells to protect against future pathogen challenge. In this review we argue that looking at T cell memory from a dynamic viewpoint can help in understanding how memory populations are maintained following pathogen exposure or vaccination. For example, a dynamic view resolves the apparent paradox between the relatively short lifespans of individual memory cells and very long-lived immunological memory by focussing on the persistence of clonal populations, rather than individual cells. Clonal survival is achieved by balancing proliferation, death and differentiation rates within and between identifiable phenotypic pools; such pools correspond broadly to sequential stages in the linear differentiation pathway. Each pool has its own characteristic kinetics, but only when considered as a population; single cells exhibit considerable heterogeneity. In humans, we tend to concentrate on circulating cells, but memory T cells in non-lymphoid tissues and bone marrow are increasingly recognised as critical for immune defence; their kinetics, however, remain largely unexplored. Considering vaccination from this viewpoint shifts the focus from the size of the primary response to the survival of the clone and enables identification of critical system pinch-points and opportunities to improve vaccine efficacy. View Full-Text
Keywords: immune memory; kinetics; dynamics; vaccine; vaccination; proliferation; turnover; survival immune memory; kinetics; dynamics; vaccine; vaccination; proliferation; turnover; survival
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Macallan, D.C.; Borghans, J.A.M.; Asquith, B. Human T Cell Memory: A Dynamic View. Vaccines 2017, 5, 5.

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