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Science 304 (5670): 529-530

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

CD8alphaalpha and T Cell Memory

Sangwon V. Kim and Richard A. Flavell

Following a robust immune response to a foreign pathogen, most activated T cells die whereas a few survive to become memory T cells. Immunologists continue to debate how T cells know whether they are to become effector T cells that die at the end of the immune response or memory T cells that persist ready to respond to the same antigen if it is encountered again. In their Perspective, Kim and Flavell discuss new findings (Madakamutil et al.) that identify the homotypic CD8 molecule, CD8alphaalpha, as the marker that tags a subpopulation of T cells to become memory cells.

S. V. Kim and R. A. Flavell are in the Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. R. A. Flavell is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. E-mail: richard.flavell{at}

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