It is often argued that T cell-mediated immunity to secondary infection is dependent on the 'accelerated' responses of memory T cells in lymph nodes. However, new evidence points to a crucial role for effector memory T cells, which are resident in peripheral tissues, in immune protection. These T cells, which reside in peripheral tissues, are not necessarily bound by an anatomical structure and can be present at many sites. Collectively, they represent a third functional tissue of the immune system, uniquely specialized to mediate protective immunity. We propose that the paradigm 'effector lymphoid tissue' needs to be articulated and developed as a focus of new research to describe and understand the unique role this tissue has in protective immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy