Virus-specific CD8 T cells in peripheral tissues are more resistant to apoptosis than those in lymphoid organs

Immunity. 2003 May;18(5):631-42. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00116-x.


CD8 T cells persist at high frequencies in peripheral organs after resolution of an immune response, and their presence in the periphery is important for resistance to secondary challenge. We show here that LCMV-specific T cells in peripheral tissue (peritoneal cavity, lung, fat pads) reacted much less with the apoptotic marker Annexin-V than those in spleen and lymph nodes. This was not due to a TCR-based selection. In comparison to lymphoid tissue, T cells in the periphery expressed lower levels of Fas and Fas ligand and were resistant to activation-induced cell death in vitro. This may contribute to the survival of nondividing peripheral memory T cells, enabling them to efficiently function without being driven into apoptosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Annexin A5 / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / immunology*
  • Arenaviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Arenaviridae Infections / pathology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Survival / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Organ Specificity / immunology


  • Annexin A5