Memory T cells are more responsive to Ag than naive cells. To determine whether memory T cells also have more efficient TCR signaling, we compared naive, effector, and memory CD8 T cells of the same antigenic specificity. Surprisingly, initial CD3 signaling events are indistinguishable. However, memory T cells have more extensive lipid rafts with higher phosphoprotein content before TCR engagement. Upon activation in vivo, they more efficiently induce phosphorylation of-LAT (linker for activation of T cells), ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase), JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase), and p38. Thus, memory CD8 T cells do not increase their TCR sensitivity, but are better poised to augment downstream signals. We propose that this regulatory mechanism might increase signal transduction in memory T cells, while limiting TCR cross-reactivity and autoimmunity.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thandi_onami/2/