Motility Matters: How CD8 + T-Cell Trafficking Influences Effector and Memory Cell Differentiation

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2021 Aug 2;13(8):a038075. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a038075.


Immunological memory is a hallmark of adaptive immunity that confers long-lasting protection from reinfections. Memory CD8+ T cells provide protection by actively scanning for their cognate antigen and migrating into inflamed tissues. Trafficking patterns of CD8+ T cells are also a major determinant of cell fate outcomes during differentiation into effector and memory cell states. CD8+ T-cell trafficking must therefore be dynamically and tightly regulated to ensure that CD8+ T cells arrive at the correct locations and differentiate to acquire appropriate effector functions. This review aims to discuss the importance of CD8+ T-cell trafficking patterns in regulating effector and memory differentiation, maintenance, and reactivation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Memory T Cells*