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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Breast milk-derived antigen-specific CD8+ T cells: an extralymphoid effector memory cell population in humans.

Although mouse studies have demonstrated the presence of an effector memory population in nonlymphoid tissues, the phenotype of human CD8(+) T cells present in such compartments has not been characterized. Because of the relatively large number of CD8(+) T cells present in breast milk, we were able to characterize the phenotype of this cell population in HIV-infected and uninfected lactating women. CMV, influenza virus, EBV, and HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells as measured by the IFN-gamma ELISPOT and MHC class I tetramer staining were all present at greater frequencies in breast milk as compared with blood. Furthermore, a greater percentage of the breast milk CD8(+) T cells expressed the intestinal homing receptor, CD103, and the mucosal homing receptor CCR9. Breast milk T cells were predominantly CD45RO(+)HLADR(+) and expressed low levels of CD45RA, CD62L, and CCR7 consistent with an effector memory population. Conversely, T cells derived from blood were mainly characterized as central memory cells (CCR7(+)CD62L(+)). These results demonstrate a population of extralymphoid CD8(+) T cells with an effector memory phenotype in humans, which could contribute to enhanced local virologic control and the relative lack of HIV transmission via this route.[1]


  1. Breast milk-derived antigen-specific CD8+ T cells: an extralymphoid effector memory cell population in humans. Sabbaj, S., Ghosh, M.K., Edwards, B.H., Leeth, R., Decker, W.D., Goepfert, P.A., Aldrovandi, G.M. J. Immunol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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