Recent work has demonstrated that following the clearance of infection a stable population of memory T cells remains present in peripheral organs and contributes to the control of secondary infections. However, little is known about how tissue-resident memory T cells behave in situ and how they encounter newly infected target cells. Here we demonstrate that antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells that remain in skin following herpes simplex virus infection show a steady-state crawling behavior in between keratinocytes. Spatially explicit simulations of the migration of these tissue-resident memory T cells indicate that the migratory dendritic behavior of these cells allows the detection of antigen-expressing target cells in physiologically relevant time frames of minutes to hours. Furthermore, we provide direct evidence for the identification of rare antigen-expressing epithelial cells by skin-patrolling memory T cells in vivo. These data demonstrate the existence of skin patrol by memory T cells and reveal the value of this patrol in the rapid detection of renewed infections at a previously infected site.
|Tijdschrift||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||48|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2012|