T-cell memory: the connection between function, phenotype and migration pathways

Immunol Today. 1991 Jun;12(6):189-92. doi: 10.1016/0167-5699(91)90051-T.


Immunological memory is a fundamental feature of vertebrate immune systems, providing enhanced protection against previously encountered antigens. The established view has been that immunological memory results from clonal expansion and long-term survival of specialized memory cells. Recently, the nature of memory T cells has come under closer scrutiny because of the ability to distinguish naive and memory T cells phenotypically, particularly in humans. In this article, Charles Mackay discusses three features of memory T cells that help to explain the nature and function of these cells: the increased expression of adhesion and activation molecules on memory T cells, their potent functional status and their specific pathways of recirculation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens