Cutting edge: virus-specific CD4+ memory T cells in nonlymphoid tissues express a highly activated phenotype

J Immunol. 2002 Dec 15;169(12):6655-8. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.169.12.6655.


Recent studies have shown that CD4(+) memory T cells persist in nonlymphoid organs following infections. However, the development and phenotype of these peripheral memory cells are poorly defined. In this study, multimerized MHC-Ig fusion proteins, with a covalently attached peptide sequence from the Sendai virus hemagglutinin/neuraminidase gene, have been used to identify virus-specific CD4(+) T cells during Sendai virus infection and the establishment of peripheral CD4(+) memory populations in the lungs. We show declining frequencies of virus-specific CD4(+) T cells in the lungs over the course of approximately 3 mo after infection. Like peripheral CD8(+) T cells, the CD4(+) have an acutely activated phenotype, suggesting that a high level of differentiation is required to reach the airways and persist as memory cells. Differences in CD25 and CD11a expression indicate that the CD4(+) cells from the lung airways and parenchyma are distinct memory populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Female
  • HN Protein / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / analysis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments / genetics
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Immunophenotyping*
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / virology*
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / virology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / analysis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Respirovirus Infections / immunology
  • Respirovirus Infections / pathology
  • Respirovirus Infections / virology
  • Sendai virus / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / virology


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • HN Protein
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins