Turnover of memory-phenotype CD8+ T cells

Microbes Infect. 2003 Mar;5(3):227-31. doi: 10.1016/s1286-4579(03)00015-7.


Memory-phenotype (CD44(hi)) T cells are presumed to represent the long-lived progeny of T cells responding to various environmental antigens. For CD8+ T cells, the background rate of proliferation (turnover) of memory-phenotype cells is increased following exposure to infectious agents. This increase in turnover is controlled by interferons (IFN-I and IFN-gamma) and is mediated by IL-15. Unlike IFNs, IL-15 is directly stimulatory for CD44(hi) CD8+ cells. In addition to controlling proliferation of these cells, IL-15 may also play a vital role in keeping CD44(hi) CD8+ cells alive.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Interferons / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-15 / pharmacology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Interleukin-15
  • Interferons