European journal of immunology

Memory CD8(+) T cells colocalize with IL-7(+) stromal cells in bone marrow and rest in terms of proliferation and transcription.

PMID 25639669


It is believed that memory CD8(+) Txa0cells are maintained in secondary lymphoid tissues, peripheral tissues, and BM by homeostatic proliferation. Their survival has been shown to be dependent on IL-7, but it is unclear where they acquire it. Here we show that in murine BM, memory CD8(+) Txa0cells individually colocalize with IL-7(+) reticular stromal cells. The Txa0cells are resting in terms of global transcription and do not express markers of activation, for example, 4-1BB (CD137), IL-2, or IFN-γ, despite the expression of CD69 on about 30% of the cells. Ninety-five percent of the memory CD8(+) Txa0cells in BM are in G0 phase of cell cycle and do not express Ki-67. Less than 1% is in S/M/G2 of cell cycle, according to propidium iodide staining. While previous publications have estimated the extent of proliferation of CD8(+) memory Txa0cells on the basis of BrdU incorporation, we show here that BrdU itself induces proliferation of CD8(+) memory Txa0cells. Taken together, the present results suggest that CD8(+) memory Txa0cells are maintained as resting cells in the BM in dedicated niches with their survival conditional on IL-7 receptor signaling.