Lymphatic endothelial cells prime naïve CD8+ T cells into memory cells under steady-state conditions

Nat Commun. 2020 Jan 27;11(1):538. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14127-9.


Lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) chemoattract naïve T cells and promote their survival in the lymph nodes, and can cross-present antigens to naïve CD8+ T cells to drive their proliferation despite lacking key costimulatory molecules. However, the functional consequence of LEC priming of CD8+ T cells is unknown. Here, we show that while many proliferating LEC-educated T cells enter early apoptosis, the remainders comprise a long-lived memory subset, with transcriptional, metabolic, and phenotypic features of central memory and stem cell-like memory T cells. In vivo, these memory cells preferentially home to lymph nodes and display rapid proliferation and effector differentiation following memory recall, and can protect mice against a subsequent bacterial infection. These findings introduce a new immunomodulatory role for LECs in directly generating a memory-like subset of quiescent yet antigen-experienced CD8+ T cells that are long-lived and can rapidly differentiate into effector cells upon inflammatory antigenic challenge.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Endothelial Cells / immunology
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic