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The killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1) is a natural killer cell receptor expressed by T cells that exhibit impaired proliferative capacity. Here, we determined the KLRG1 expression by virus-specific T cells. We found that repetitive and persistent antigen stimulation leads to an increase in KLRG1 expression of virus-specific CD8+ T cells in mice and that virus-specific CD8+ T cells are mostly KLRG1+ in chronic human viral infections (human immunodeficiency virus, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr virus) but not in resolved infection (influenza virus). Thus, by using KLRG1 as a T-cell marker, our results suggest that the differentiation status and function of virus-specific CD8+ T cells are directly influenced by persistent antigen stimulation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Virol

Publication Date





12112 - 12116


Animals, Antigens, Viral, CD40 Antigens, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cytomegalovirus, HIV, Herpesvirus 4, Human, Humans, Killer Cells, Natural, Lectins, C-Type, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Receptors, Immunologic, Trans-Activators, Virus Diseases