Distribution and Compartmentalization of Human Circulating and Tissue-Resident Memory T Cell Subsets

Immunity. 2013 Jan 24;38(1):187-97. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.09.020. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Abstract

Knowledge of human T cells derives chiefly from studies of peripheral blood, whereas their distribution and function in tissues remains largely unknown. Here, we present a unique analysis of human T cells in lymphoid and mucosal tissues obtained from individual organ donors, revealing tissue-intrinsic compartmentalization of naive, effector, and memory subsets conserved between diverse individuals. Effector memory CD4(+) T cells producing IL-2 predominated in mucosal tissues and accumulated as central memory subsets in lymphoid tissue, whereas CD8(+) T cells were maintained as naive subsets in lymphoid tissues and IFN-γ-producing effector memory CD8(+) T cells in mucosal sites. The T cell activation marker CD69 was constitutively expressed by memory T cells in all tissues, distinguishing them from circulating subsets, with mucosal memory T cells exhibiting additional distinct phenotypic and functional properties. Our results provide an assessment of human T cell compartmentalization as a new baseline for understanding human adaptive immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / metabolism
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Integrin alpha Chains / metabolism
  • Lectins, C-Type / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucous Membrane / immunology
  • Organ Specificity / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • Tissue Donors
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD69 antigen
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • alpha E integrins