Tissue-resident memory T (Trm) cells constitute a recently identified lymphocyte lineage that occupies tissues without recirculating. They provide a first response against infections reencountered at body surfaces, where they accelerate pathogen clearance. Because Trm cells are not present within peripheral blood, they have not yet been well characterized, but are transcriptionally, phenotypically, and functionally distinct from recirculating central and effector memory T cells. In this review, we will summarize current knowledge of Trm cell ontogeny, regulation, maintenance, and function and will highlight technical considerations for studying this population.
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