Effector and memory T-cell differentiation: implications for vaccine development

Nat Rev Immunol. 2002 Apr;2(4):251-62. doi: 10.1038/nri778.


Recent work shows that after stimulation with antigen, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells embark on a programme of proliferation that is closely linked with the acquisition of effector functions and leads ultimately to memory-cell formation. Here, we discuss the signals required for commitment to this programme of development and the factors that might influence its progression. Models of the pathways of effector and memory T-cell differentiation are discussed, and we highlight the implications of this new understanding for the optimization of vaccine strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Vaccines / immunology*


  • Vaccines