The repertoires of circulating human CD8(+) central and effector memory T cell subsets are largely distinct

Immunity. 2003 Feb;18(2):193-204. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00020-7.


Memory T cells are divided into central and effector subsets with distinct functions and homing capabilities. We analyzed the composition and dynamics of the CD8(+) T cell repertoire of these subsets within the peripheral blood of four healthy individuals. Both subsets had largely distinct and autonomous TCRbeta repertoires. Their composition remained stable over a 9 month period, during which no cell passage between these subsets was detected despite important size variation of several clones. In one donor, four out of six TCRbeta clonotypes specific for the influenza A virus were detected in the central subset only, while the two others were shared. Altogether, these observations suggest that most effector memory T cells may not have derived from the central memory subset.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA / genetics
  • Gene Rearrangement, beta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • L-Selectin / metabolism
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Immunological
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Time Factors


  • L-Selectin
  • DNA
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens