Distribution and Compartmentalization of Human Circulating and Tissue-Resident Memory T Cell Subsets

Taheri Sathaliyawala, Masaru Kubota, Naomi Yudanin, Damian Turner, Philip Camp, Joseph J.C. Thome, Kara L. Bickham, Harvey Lerner, Michael Goldstein, Megan Sykes, Tomoaki Kato, Donna L. Farber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

519 Scopus citations


Knowledge of human T cells derives chiefly from studies of peripheral blood, whereas their distribution and function in tissues remains largely unknown. Here, we present a unique analysis of human T cells in lymphoid and mucosal tissues obtained from individual organ donors, revealing tissue-intrinsic compartmentalization of naive, effector, and memory subsets conserved between diverse individuals. Effector memory CD4+ T cells producing IL-2 predominated in mucosal tissues and accumulated as central memory subsets in lymphoid tissue, whereas CD8+ T cells were maintained as naive subsets in lymphoid tissues and IFN-γ-producing effector memory CD8+ T cells in mucosal sites. The T cell activation marker CD69 was constitutively expressed by memory T cells in all tissues, distinguishing them from circulating subsets, with mucosal memory T cells exhibiting additional distinct phenotypic and functional properties. Our results provide an assessment of human T cell compartmentalization as a new baseline for understanding human adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 24 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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