CD45RB Status of CD8+ T Cell Memory Defines T Cell Receptor Affinity and Persistence

Cell Rep. 2020 Feb 4;30(5):1282-1291.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.01.016.


The identity of CD45 isoforms on the T cell surface changes following the activation of naive T cells and impacts intracellular signaling. In this study, we find that the anti-viral memory CD8+ T pool is unexpectedly comprised of both CD45RBhi and CD45RBlo populations. Relative to CD45RBlo memory T cells, CD45RBhi memory T cells have lower affinity and display greater clonal diversity, as well as a persistent CD27hi phenotype. The CD45RBhi memory population displays a homeostatic survival advantage in vivo relative to CD45RBlo memory, and long-lived high-affinity cells that persisted long term convert from CD45RBlo to CD45RBhi. Human CD45RO+ memory is comprised of both CD45RBhi and CD45RBlo populations with distinct phenotypes, and antigen-specific memory to two viruses is predominantly CD45RBhi. These data demonstrate that CD45RB status is distinct from the conventional central/effector T cell memory classification and has potential utility for monitoring and characterizing pathogen-specific CD8+ T cell responses.

Keywords: CD45; T cell memory; TCR affinity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibody Affinity / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Clone Cells
  • Female
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / virology
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Young Adult


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens