Memory T cells in nonlymphoid tissue that provide enhanced local immunity during infection with herpes simplex virus

Nat Immunol. 2009 May;10(5):524-30. doi: 10.1038/ni.1718. Epub 2009 Mar 22.


Effective immunity is dependent on long-surviving memory T cells. Various memory subsets make distinct contributions to immune protection, especially in peripheral infection. It has been suggested that T cells in nonlymphoid tissues are important during local infection, although their relationship with populations in the circulation remains poorly defined. Here we describe a unique memory T cell subset present after acute infection with herpes simplex virus that remained resident in the skin and in latently infected sensory ganglia. These T cells were in disequilibrium with the circulating lymphocyte pool and controlled new infection with this virus. Thus, these cells represent an example of tissue-resident memory T cells that can provide protective immunity at points of pathogen entry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Ganglia, Sensory / cytology
  • Ganglia, Sensory / immunology*
  • Ganglia, Sensory / virology
  • Herpes Simplex / immunology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Simplexvirus / immunology
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / immunology*
  • Skin / virology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*