Predicting CD62L expression during the CD8+ T-cell response in vivo

Immunol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;88(2):157-64. doi: 10.1038/icb.2009.80. Epub 2009 Oct 27.


Acute infection leads to CD8(+) T-cell activation, division and differentiation. Following clearance of infection, cells revert to two distinct subsets of memory, central (T(CM)) and effector (T(EM)) memory. Adoptive transfer of naive T-cell receptor transgenic (TCR-tg) T cells has been used to study the differentiation of these memory subsets, which are often discriminated by expression of CD62L. Naive CD8(+) T cells are CD62L(high), and CD62L expression is lost during the 'effector' phase. Adoptive transfer studies show that higher transfer frequencies result in diminished T-cell expansion and a higher proportion CD62L(high). This suggests a relationship between CD62L expression and cell division, where division leads to conversion from CD62L(high) to CD62L(low) phenotype. To address this hypothesis we adoptively transferred graded numbers of OT-1 TCR-tg T cells from naive donors and tracked the kinetics and phenotype of the immune response after infection. We developed a simple mathematical model of division-linked CD62L differentiation, which we compared with the experimental data. Our results show that division-linked differentiation predicts the differences in proportion of cells CD62L(high) observed between responses of different adoptive transfer number and within individual mice. We calculate that approximately 20% of CD62L(high) cells convert to CD62L(low) during each division.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Interleukin-7 Receptor alpha Subunit / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • L-Selectin / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Phenotype
  • Spleen / cytology
  • Spleen / immunology


  • Interleukin-7 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • L-Selectin