Distribution of human CMV-specific memory T cells among the CD8(pos.) subsets defined by CD57, CD27, and CD45 isoforms

Florian Kern, Elham Khatamzas, Ingolf Surel, Claudia Frömmel, Petra Reinke, Shar L. Waldrop, Louis J. Picker, Hans Dieter Volk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Chronic antigenic stimulation has been associated with peripheral blood expansions of CD(pos.) T cells characterized by CD57 expression, loss of CD27 expression, and reversal of the CD45RO(bright)/RA(dim) phenotype usually associated with immunological memory towards a CD45RO(dim)/RA(bright) phenotype. However, the relationship and functional significance of these subset(s) has remained controversial. Here, this issue was addressed using a novel flow cytometric technique that allows simultaneous detection of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-specific CD8(pos.) memory T cells by rapid (< 6 h) HCMV peptide-specific induction of cytokine synthesis, and their phenotypic characterization, including CD57, CD27 and CD45RA/RO. The vast majority of resting CD8(pos.) T cells capable of rapid induction of IFN-γ and TNF-α synthesis in response to HCMV peptides were found in a subset characterized by intermediate to high expression of CD57, down-regulation/loss of CD27, and varying degrees of reversal of the classical 'memory' CD45RO(bright)/RA(dim) phenotype. This subpopulation likely includes the fully differentiated memory cells responsible for the long-term immune defense against HCMV reactivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2908-2915
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • CD57
  • Human cytomegalovirus
  • Memory T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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