Programs for the persistence, vigilance and control of human CD8(+) lung-resident memory T cells

Pleun Hombrink, Christina Helbig, Ronald A Backer, Berber Piet, Anna E Oja, Regina Stark, Giso Brasser, Aldo Jongejan, René E Jonkers, Benjamin Nota, Onur Basak, Hans C Clevers, Perry D Moerland, Derk Amsen, René A W van Lier

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

299 Citations (Scopus)


Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) in the airways mediate protection against respiratory infection. We characterized TRM cells expressing integrin αE (CD103) that reside within the epithelial barrier of human lungs. These cells had specialized profiles of chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules, consistent with their unique localization. Lung TRM cells were poised for rapid responsiveness by constitutive expression of deployment-ready mRNA encoding effector molecules, but they also expressed many inhibitory regulators, suggestive of programmed restraint. A distinct set of transcription factors was active in CD103(+) TRM cells, including Notch. Genetic and pharmacological experiments with mice revealed that Notch activity was required for the maintenance of CD103(+) TRM cells. We have thus identified specialized programs underlying the residence, persistence, vigilance and tight control of human lung TRM cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1478
Number of pages12
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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