Do cytomegalovirus-specific memory T cells interfere with new immune responses in lymphoid tissues?

Mladen Jergović, Jennifer L. Uhrlaub, Nico A. Contreras, Janko Nikolich-Zugich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In both mice and humans, the CD8 T cell compartment is expanded with age in the presence of a cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection due to an absolute increase in the CD8+ T cell effector memory (TEM) cells. It has been hypothesized that in CMV+ subjects, such accumulated TEM cells could interfere with responses to new infection by competing for space/resources or could inhibit new responses by other, undefined, means. Here we present evidence against this hypothesis. We show that MCMV-specific CD8 T cells accumulate in blood and bone marrow, but not lymph nodes (frequent sites of immune response initiation), in either persistent lifelong CMV infection or following reactivation. Moreover, adoptive transfer of effector memory T cells from MCMV positive mice into naïve animals did not interfere with either humoral or cellular response to West Nile virus or Listeria monocytogenes infection in recipient mice. We conclude that MCMV infection is unlikely to inhibit new immune responses in old animals through direct interference of MCMV-specific CD8 T cells with the priming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 15 2019



  • Cytomegalovirus-specific memory T cells
  • Lymphoid tissues
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this