T-CELLS DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Protective immunity depends on CD4 T-cells, the ‘memory’ cells of the immune system. These cells are called into action when stimulated by microbial antigens and following their response they retreat into corners of the body but never forget the encounter. Current wisdom has it that following an encounter CD4 T-cells hide out in lymphoid tissues such as the spleen and the lymph nodes.
In Nature (Vol. 410, No. 6824, 01 March 2001) this week, Marc Jenkins and colleagues at the University of Minnesota Medical School report that in fact there are two discrete families of CD4 T-cells, one which resides in lymphoid tissues and one in non-lymphoid tissues such as the lungs, liver, gut and salivary glands.
Their results suggest that studies of protective immunity, which usually look for T-cells in the blood and lymphoid tissues, may be improved by sampling lymphocytes in non-lymphoid tissues also.
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(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza