Although much is known concerning the immunobiology of CD8+ T memory cells, the initial events favoring the generation of CD8+ T memory cells remain poorly defined. Using a culture system that yields memory-like CD8+ T cells, we show that 1 day after Ag encounter, Ag-activated T cells developed into memory-like T cells, but this optimally occurred 3 days after Ag encounter. Key phenotypic, functional, and molecular properties that typify central memory T cells were expressed within 48 h when the activated CD8+ T cells were cultured with IL-7 or IL-15 in the absence of Ag or following transfer into normal mice. These data support a model whereby Ag activation of naive CD8+ T cells not only programs effector cell expansion and contraction but the potential to develop into a memory cell which ensues in an Ag-free environment containing IL-7 or IL-15.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy