Selective accumulation of virus-specific CD8+ T cells with unique homing phenotype within the human bone marrow

Umaimainthan Palendira, Rosanna Chinn, Wajid Raza, Karen Piper, Guy Pratt, Lee Machado, Andrew Bell, Naeem Khan, Andrew Hislop, Richard Steyn, Alan Rickinson, Christopher Buckley, Paul Moss

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


The bone marrow plays a unique role within the immune system. We compared the phenotype and function of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells from matched samples of human peripheral blood and bone marrow. Analysis of virus-specific memory CD8(+) T cells showed widely divergent partition of antigen-specific population between blood and bone marrow. T cells specific for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic antigens were enriched 3-fold in marrow compared with blood, whereas the response to EBV latent epitopes was equivalent between the 2 compartments. No difference in EBV viral load or expression of the EBV lytic protein was observed between blood and bone marrow. In direct contrast, although cytomegalovirus (CMV)–specific T cells were the largest virus-specific population within peripheral blood, they were reduced by 60% within marrow. Bone marrow T cells were found to exhibit a unique CCR5(+)CXCR6(+)CXCR3(-) homing phenotype which has not been observed on T cells from other secondary lymphoid organs or peripheral organs. Expression of CCR5 and CXCR6 was higher on EBV-specific T cells within peripheral blood compared with CMV-specific populations. These observations identify a novel bone marrow homing phenotype for CD8(+) memory T cells, which necessitates a reevaluation of the magnitude of antigen-specific populations within the lymphoid system.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2008


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