Nat Commun. 2015 Sep 25.

Functional classification of memory CD8(+) T cells by CX3CR1 expression.

Böttcher JP, Beyer M, Meissner F, Abdullah Z, Sander J, Höchst B, Eickhoff S, Rieckmann JC, Russo C, Bauer T, Flecken T, Giesen D, Engel D, Jung S, Busch DH, Protzer U, Thimme R, Mann M, Kurts C, Schultze JL, Kastenmüller W, Knolle PA

Localization of memory CD8(+) T cells to lymphoid or peripheral tissues is believed to correlate with proliferative capacity or effector function. Here we demonstrate that the fractalkine-receptor/CX3CR1 distinguishes memory CD8(+) T cells with cytotoxic effector function from those with proliferative capacity, independent of tissue-homing properties. CX3CR1-based transcriptome and proteome-profiling defines a core signature of memory CD8(+) T cells with effector function. We find CD62L(hi)CX3CR1(+) memory T cells that reside within lymph nodes. This population shows distinct migration patterns and positioning in proximity to pathogen entry sites. Virus-specific CX3CR1(+) memory CD8(+) T cells are scarce during chronic infection in humans and mice but increase when infection is controlled spontaneously or by therapeutic intervention. This CX3CR1-based functional classification will help to resolve the principles of protective CD8(+) T-cell memory.

PMID: 26404698