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Memory T cells are endowed with multiple functional features that enable them to be more protective than naive T cells against infectious threats. It is not known if memory cells have a higher synapse propensity (SP; i.e., increased probability to form immature immunological synapses that then provide an entry into different modes of durable interaction with APCs). In this study, we show that only human memory CD8 T cells have remarkably high SP compared with naive counterparts. Such a dichotomy between naive and memory cells is not observed within the human CD4 or murine CD8 T cell population. Higher SP in human memory CD8 T cells allows them to outcompete and prevent naive CD8 T cells from getting recruited to the response. This observation has implications for original antigenic sin and aging of the immune system in humans.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





601 - 606


Aging, Animals, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Humans, Immunologic Memory, Immunological Synapses, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, T-Lymphocyte Subsets