Enzymatic synthesis of core 2 O-glycans governs the tissue-trafficking potential of memory CD8+ T cells

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Science Immunology  13 Oct 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 16, eaan6049
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan6049

Selecting memory T cells

Recruitment of immune cells to infected tissues relies on interactions between receptors on immune cells and adhesion molecules expressed by vascular endothelial cells, including E- and P-selectins. Here, Osborn et al. have compared the trafficking of effector and central memory T (TCM) cells and find that the ability to enter tissues is largely restricted to TCM cells. They found that interleukin-15–driven transcriptional programming of TCM cells promotes glycosylation of selectin ligands, allowing these cells to bind E- and P-selectins and to enter inflamed tissues. The studies represent a key advance in our understanding of how distinct memory T cell subsets contribute to recall responses.