Memory CD8 T cells have a unique ability to provide lifelong immunity against pathogens containing their cognate epitope. Because of their ability to provide lifelong protection, the generation of memory T cells is now a major focus for current vaccination or adoptive cell therapy approaches to treat chronic viral infections and cancer. It is now clear that maintenance of memory CD8 T cells occurs through a process of antigen-independent homeostatic proliferation, which is regulated in part by the gamma chain cytokines IL-7 and IL-15. Here, we will describe the role of these cytokines in the survival and self-renewal of memory CD8 T cells. Further, we will describe the role of epigenetics in the maintenance of acquired functions among memory CD8 T cells during homeostatic proliferation.
Abdelsamed, H. A., Zebley, C. C., & Youngblood, B. (2018, January 18). Epigenetic maintenance of acquired gene expression programs during memory CD8 T cell homeostasis. Frontiers in Immunology. Frontiers Media S.A. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.00006