Dynamic programming of CD8+ T cell trafficking after live viral immunization

Immunity. 2006 Sep;25(3):511-20. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2006.06.019.


After viral infection, activated T cells are present in multiple tissues regardless of the infection route. How these cells acquire pleiotropic homing ability is unclear. By using a cutaneous vaccinia virus infection model, we demonstrate that regulation of T cell trafficking is multiphasic. Upon completion of three cell divisions, CD8+ T cells upregulated specific skin-homing molecules within draining lymph nodes (LN). By 60 hr after infection, some activated T cells reached the infected tissue, while others entered distant antigen-free LN. These latter cells continued to divide and acquire additional tissue-homing molecules in this new setting, independent of antigen presentation. After viral clearance, the initial skin-homing imprint became the predominant homing phenotype on memory cells and provided superior protection against secondary cutaneous challenge. These observations demonstrate a mechanism by which T cells provide both immediate tissue-specific immune control at the pathogen entry site and a more flexible systemic protection against pathogen dissemination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / administration & dosage
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / virology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / immunology
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Viral Vaccines