Generation and persistence of human tissue-resident memory T cells in lung transplantation

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Science Immunology  08 Mar 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 33, eaav5581
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aav5581

Transplanted memories

Parabiosis experiments in mice have shaped our understanding of the tissue retention properties of tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM). By studying donor and recipient T cells in transplanted lungs, Snyder et al. have provided a rare glimpse into the generation and maintenance of human TRM. Whereas donor T cells were barely detectable in blood within 10 weeks after transplantation, donor TRM were abundant and persisted in transplanted lungs for more than a year. Recipient T cells infiltrating the lung gradually acquired TRM profiles over time as determined by analyses of T cells from bronchoalveolar lavages. In this 20-patient cohort, persistence of donor lung TRM correlated with improved clinical outcome, although further studies are needed to understand their role in graft retention.