Central memory T cells are the most effective precursors of resident memory T cells in human skin

Sci Immunol. 2022 Apr 22;7(70):eabn1889. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abn1889. Epub 2022 Apr 22.


The circulating precursor cells that give rise to human resident memory T cells (TRM) are poorly characterized. We used an in vitro differentiation system and human skin-grafted mice to study TRM generation from circulating human memory T cell subsets. In vitro TRM differentiation was associated with functional changes, including enhanced IL-17A production and FOXP3 expression in CD4+ T cells and granzyme B production in CD8+ T cells, changes that mirrored the phenotype of T cells in healthy human skin. Effector memory T cells (TEM) had the highest conversion rate to TRM in vitro and in vivo, but central memory T cells (TCM) persisted longer in the circulation, entered the skin in larger numbers, and generated increased numbers of TRM. In summary, TCM are highly efficient precursors of human skin TRM, a feature that may underlie their known association with effective long-term immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Memory T Cells
  • Mice
  • Skin
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets