CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) reside permanently in nonlymphoid tissues and provide a first line of protection against invading pathogens. However, the precise localization of CD8+ TRM cells in the lung, which physiologically consists of a markedly scant interstitium compared with other mucosa, remains unclear. In this study, we show that lung CD8+ TRM cells localize predominantly in specific niches created at the site of regeneration after tissue injury, whereas peripheral tissue-circulating CD8+ effector memory T cells (TEM cells) are widely but sparsely distributed in unaffected areas. Although CD69 inhibited sphingosine 1–phosphate receptor 1–mediated egress of CD8+ T cells immediately after their recruitment into lung tissues, such inhibition was not required for the retention of cells in the TRM niches. Furthermore, despite rigid segregation of TEM cells from the TRM niche, prime-pull strategy with cognate antigen enabled the conversion from TEM cells to TRM cells by creating de novo TRM niches. Such damage site–specific localization of CD8+ TRM cells may be important for efficient protection against secondary infections by respiratory pathogens.
- Submitted: 20 June 2016
- Revision received 29 August 2016
- Accepted: 11 October 2016
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