Memory CD4 T cells are strategically positioned at mucosal surfaces to initiate a robust adaptive immune response. The detection of specific antigen via the T-cell receptor causes these memory T cells to unleash a potent antimicrobial response that includes rousing local innate immune populations for tissue-specific defense. Paradoxically, these same memory T cells can also be stimulated by nonantigen-specific signals that are generated by the activity of local innate immune cells. This versatility of mucosal memory T cells in both the initiation and the sensing of local innate immunity could be a vitally important asset during pathogen defense but alternatively could be responsible for initiating and maintaining chronic inflammation in sensitive mucosal tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy