Resident CD4+ T cells accumulate in lymphoid organs after prolonged antigen exposure

Nat Commun. 2014 Sep 5;5:4821. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5821.


Effector and memory CD4(+) T cells acquire distinct migratory properties depending on the type and location of the immune responses. Due to the highly dynamic nature of T cell circulation, the comprehensive analysis of these migratory routes requires dedicated experimental approaches. Here, we analyse the migration of effector/memory CD4(+) T cells by long-term in vivo cell tracking. We identify a resident population of antigen-experienced CD4(+) T cells that resides in lymph nodes and Peyer's patches without circulation or proliferation. Resident CD4(+) T cells constitute up to 50% of all effector/memory cells, including, but not limited to, follicular helper T cells. Furthermore, these non-circulating T cells possess a distinct T cell receptor repertoire and accumulate in Peyer's patches after continuous oral antigen exposure. Our results provide the first direct evidence for a resident population of effector/memory CD4(+) T cells that is retained in lymphoid tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cell Tracking
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histological Techniques
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Peyer's Patches / cytology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Antigens
  • DNA Primers