Traditional paradigms suggest that encounter with an antigen converts naive peripheral T cells into memory cells with less stringent requirements for activation and increased capacities for lymphokine production. Recent evidence argues that this view may be oversimplified in two ways. First, an encounter with antigen in the absence of certain costimulatory factors can render a T cell anergic - that is, unable to respond to antigen under normal conditions. Second, although cells of the memory T cell population are more responsive than naive cells to some stimuli, these cells are hyporesponsive in other situations. Intrinsic resistance of memory T cells to elevation of intracellular calcium ion concentrations may contribute to their poor responsiveness to agents that activate naive cells. Thus, aspects of the costimulatory environment can determine whether a resting T cell is activated or rendered anergic and may also influence the kinds of stimuli to which a memory T cell will respond.
- T lymphocyte differentiation