Role for Bcl-6 in the generation and maintenance of memory CD8+ T cells

Nat Immunol. 2002 Jun;3(6):558-63. doi: 10.1038/ni802. Epub 2002 May 20.


Naïve T cells proliferate and differentiate into memory cells after antigenic stimulation or in a lymphopenic environment. We showed here transient increases in memory phenotype CD8+ T cell numbers in the lymphopenic environment of spleens of very young mice. The magnitude of the increase correlated with Bcl-6 expression in the T cells. Bcl-6 controlled the generation and maintenance of antigen-specific memory phenotype CD8+ T cells in the spleens of immunized mice. These data suggest that Bcl-6, which is essential for memory B cell development in germinal centers, is a key molecule for the establishment not only of memory T cells but also of the peripheral T cell compartment in infancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antigens
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphopenia / immunology
  • Lymphopenia / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Phenotype
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / deficiency
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ovalbumin