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Home Of Immune Memory Found

Wednesday, 03 June 2009 by

New findings overturn a major model of where immune memory is stored. Rather than circulating throughout the body, as researchers had thought, memory T-cells actually reside in a comfortable niche in the bone marrow waiting for the next chance to fight infection, according to a new article published online in Immunity today (May 7th). Immunologists have long believed that memory cells come from activated effector T cells that have resigned their ability to fight, and simply remain in circulation until they are re-activated a second time by the same pathogen they initially attacked. Researchers have now found that rather than remaining in the circulation as previously thought, the majority return to the bone marrow, 80% of them are found here. These cells remained there for up to 134 days — the length of time the researchers tested.

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