The memory T-cell population is a heterogeneous population, including both effector cells, which exert a direct secondary immune response, and resting or intermediate cells, which serve as a reservoir and exert a possible regulatory role. To further dissect the T-cell memory population residing in the CD4+ CD45RO+ T-cell pool, we studied the functional properties of memory populations identified by the CD27 marker. This marker clearly divides the memory population into two groups. One group consists of effector cells lacking CD27 and displaying a high antigen recall response. The other group consists of an intermediate memory population, displaying CD27. This latter group lacks an antigen recall response and requires costimulation for T-cell receptor triggering. To evaluate the function of the CD27+ memory pool, we analysed the transcriptional profile, using high-density microarray technology. These gene data strongly support the different functional profiles of CD27+ and CD27- memory populations, in terms of protein expression and the capacity to respond to antigen.