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Centenary Institute - Medical Research
Centenary Institute - Medical Research

Selective accumulation of virus-specific CD8+ T cells with unique homing phenotype within the human bone marrow

The bone marrow plays a unique role within the immune system. We compared the phenotype and function ofvirus-specific CD8(+) T cells from matched samples of human peripheral blood and bone marrow. Analysis ofvirus-specific memory CD8(+) T cells showed widely divergent partition of antigen-specific populations between blood and bone marrow. T cells specific for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic antigens were enriched 3-fold inmarrow compared with blood, whereas the response to EBV latent epitopes was equivalent between the 2 compartments. No difference in EBV viral load or expression of the EBV lytic protein was observed between blood and bone marrow. In direct contrast, although cytomegalo-virus (CMV)-specific T cells were the largestvirus-specific population within peripheral blood, they were reduced by 60% within marrow. Bone marrow Tcells were found to exhibit a unique CCR5(+)CXCR6(+)CXCR3(-) homing phenotype which has not been observed on T cells from other secondary lymphoid organs or peripheral organs. Expression of CCR5 and CXCR6 was higher on EBV-specific T cells within peripheral blood compared with CMV-specific populations. These observations identify a novel bone marrow homing phenotype for CD8(+) memory T cells, which necessitates a reevaluation of the magnitude of antigen-specific populations within the lymphoid system.

U Palendira, R Chinn, W Raza, K Piper, G Pratt, L Machado, A Bell, N Khan, AD Hislop, R Steyn, AB Rickinson, CD Buckley, P Moss.

Blood: 2008: 112(8) 3293-302

Date: 2008