Aspects of cytotoxic T cell memory

Immunol Rev. 1996 Apr;150:113-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065x.1996.tb00698.x.


Immunological T cell memory manifest itself in an accelerated second-set graft, or allogeneic tumour cell, rejection. Memory viral-immune cytotoxic T cells have shortened kinetics of induction in vivo and differentiate into more potent effector cells in vitro. The requirements for induction of memory T cells are less stringent than for naive T cells. Memory T cells can be activated by antigen (signal 1) or interaction with co-stimulatory molecules (CD28/CD80, signal 2) alone. Memory T cells are phenotypically distinguishable from naive T cells by a number of cell surface markers, but not from activated T cells. Persistence of antigen is not required for the maintenance of long-lived memory. Continuous stimulation by signal 2 alone and or longevity is sufficient to explain life-long persistence of T cell memory. All available data on memory T cells are consistent with a deterministic model of T cell memory formation, following a precise pathway of T cell differentiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • B7-1 Antigen / immunology
  • CD28 Antigens / immunology
  • CD8 Antigens / immunology*
  • Cell Survival / immunology
  • Flaviviridae / immunology
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology*
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology


  • Antigens, Viral
  • B7-1 Antigen
  • CD28 Antigens
  • CD8 Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta
  • Recombinant Proteins