Lymphoid homeostasis is required to ensure immune responsiveness and to prevent immunodeficiency. As such, the immune system must maintain distinct populations of naïve T cells that are able to respond to new antigens as well as memory T cells specific to those antigens it has already encountered. Though both naïve and memory T cells reside in and traffic through secondary lymphoid organs, there is growing evidence that the two populations may be regulated differently. We show here that naïve T cell survival and memory T cell survival have different requirements for cytokines (including the interleukins IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-9 and IL-15) that use the common cytokine receptor gamma chain (gamma c). Using monoclonal populations of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells, we found that naïve T cells cannot survive without gamma c, whereas memory T cells show no such requirement. In contrast, neither naïve nor gamma c-deficient memory T cells were impaired in their ability to proliferate and produce cytokines in response to in vivo antigenic stimulation. These data call into question the physiological role of gamma c-dependent cytokines as T cell growth factors and show that naïve and memory CD4+ T cell survival is maintained by distinct mechanisms.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.