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In humans, loss of CD27 expression is associated with the stable acquisition of effector functions by CD8+ T cells. We found that murine (CD8+)CD27- T cells were confined to the primed CD62L(dull/-)CD44(bright)CCR7- T cell population. (CD8+)CD27- T cells were absent from lymph nodes but could be found in blood, spleen and in non-lymphoid organs such as lung and liver. Late after primary influenza virus infection, low percentages of antigen-specific CD27- cells emerged in the lung and spleen. After recovery from secondary influenza virus infection, high percentages of influenza-specific CD27- T cells were found in the lung and the loss of CD27 on lung CD8+ T cells coincided with high granzyme B expression. After murine cytomegalovirus infection, loss of CD27 expression on virus-specific CD8+ T cell populations was sustained and especially marked in liver and lung. We suggest that in mice, CD27 is lost from CD8+ T cells only after repetitive antigenic stimulation. Moreover, the high expression of both granzyme B and perforin in the CD27- T cells suggests that the lack of CD27 on murine CD8+ T cells can be used to identify memory T cells with expression of cytotoxic effector molecules.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





3131 - 3141


Aging, Animals, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cytomegalovirus, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Granzymes, Immunologic Memory, Membrane Glycoproteins, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Orthomyxoviridae Infections, Perforin, Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins, Serine Endopeptidases, T-Lymphocyte Subsets, Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7