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Immune memory formation seen in early stages of viral infection
Date:1/28/2010

le-ready progeny, but they don't stick around. Cells with low levels of CD25 are five times more able to persist long-term, and they also acquire the ability to travel throughout the body's lymph nodes key properties of memory T cells compared to effector cells.

"Apparently, cells that receive prolonged IL-2 signals are pushed further down the effector path and hence exhibit decreased potential to form long-lived memory cells," Sarkar says. "It may be beneficial that not all of the T cells burn themselves out fighting the virus so that memory-fated cells can conserve resources for the next encounter."

When mice are given extra IL2, T cells exhibit more pronounced effector characteristics. Sarkar says the results will be instructive for researchers developing vaccines because, combined with previous observations in the field, they show that both too much IL2 and its absence can be detrimental to the development of immunological memory. Because IL-2 is a key regulator of the immune system, some clinical studies have examined whether IL2 can boost immune responses against HIV and cancer, for example.

The differences between the groups of T cells may arise because not all T cells get the same level of stimulation as the infection progresses, Kalia says. "In this situation, a spectrum of effector cells with a range of differentiation states and memory potential likely develops," she says.


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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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