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Virtual memory T cells are foreign antigen-inexperienced T cells that have acquired memory-like phenotype and constitute 10–20% of all peripheral CD8+ T cells in mice. Their origin, biological roles, and relationship to naïve and foreign antigen-experienced memory T cells are incompletely understood. By analyzing T-cell receptor repertoires and using retrogenic monoclonal T-cell populations, we demonstrate that the virtual memory T-cell formation is a so far unappreciated cell fate decision checkpoint. We describe two molecular mechanisms driving the formation of virtual memory T cells. First, virtual memory T cells originate exclusively from strongly self-reactive T cells. Second, the stoichiometry of the CD8 interaction with Lck regulates the size of the virtual memory T-cell compartment via modulating the self-reactivity of individual T cells. Although virtual memory T cells descend from the highly self-reactive clones and acquire a partial memory program, they are not more potent in inducing experimental autoimmune diabetes than naïve T cells. These data underline the importance of the variable level of self-reactivity in polyclonal T cells for the generation of functional T-cell diversity.NEXT ARTICLE
Biological therapy involves the use of living organisms, substances derived from living organisms, or laboratory-produced versions of such substances to treat disease. Some biological therapies for cancer use vaccines or bacteria to stimulate the body&rs...
An antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) and chemicals. Antibodies may be produc...