The molecular signature of tissue resident memory CD8 T cells isolated from the brain.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), Volume 189, Issue 7, p.3462-71 (2012)


Animals, Antigens, CD, Brain, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Separation, Cells, Cultured, Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Consortium Authored Paper, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Immunophenotyping, Integrin alpha Chains, MICE, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Transgenic, Organ Specificity, T Cell Transcription Factor 1, T-Box Domain Proteins, Vesicular Stomatitis, Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus


Tissue resident memory (Trm) CD8 T cells represent a newly described memory T cell population. We have previously characterized a population of Trm cells that persists within the brain after acute virus infection. Although capable of providing marked protection against a subsequent local challenge, brain Trm cells do not undergo recall expansion after dissociation from the tissue. Furthermore, these Trm cells do not depend on the same survival factors as the circulating memory T cell pool as assessed either in vivo or in vitro. To gain greater insight into this population of cells, we compared the gene expression profiles of Trm cells isolated from the brain with those of circulating memory T cells isolated from the spleen after an acute virus infection. Trm cells displayed altered expression of genes involved in chemotaxis, expressed a distinct set of transcription factors, and overexpressed several inhibitory receptors. Cumulatively, these data indicate that Trm cells are a distinct memory T cell population disconnected from the circulating memory T cell pool and display a unique molecular signature that likely results in optimal survival and function within their local environment.