Sustained interactions between T cell receptors and antigens promote the differentiation of CD4+ memory T cells

Chulwoo Kim, Theodore Wilson, Kael F. Fischer, Matthew A. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


During CD4+ Tcell activation, Tcell receptor (TCR) signals impact Tcell fate, including recruitment, expansion, differentiation, trafficking, and survival. To determine the impact of TCR signals on the fate decision of activated CD4+ Tcells to become end-stage effector or long-lived memory T helper 1 (Th1) cells, we devised a deep-sequencing-based approach that allowed us to track the evolution of TCR repertoires after acute infection. The transition of effector Th1 cells into the memory pool was associated with a significant decrease in repertoire diversity, and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II tetramer off rate, but not tetramer avidity, was a key predictive factor in the representation of individual clonal Tcell populations at the memory stage. We conclude that stable and sustained interactions with antigens during the development of Th1 responses to acute infection are a determinative factor in promoting the differentiation of Th1 memory cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-520
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept 19
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank J. Cassiano for technical assistance, M. Pepper (University of Washington) for providing GP 66–77 tetramer constructs, D. Vignali (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital) for providing the retroviral plasmid expressing CD3 subunits, and B. Dalley (University of Utah Microarray Core Facility) for technical advice. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant AI080830 (to M.A.W.).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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