IL-4 receptor (IL-4R)-deficient CD8+ T cells specific for the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium yoelii develop a severely impaired memory response after priming with parasites. Memory CD8+ T cells lacking the IL-4R are unable to establish a stable population residing in nonlymphoid organs, although they develop normally in lymphoid organs. Because memory cells from nonlymphoid organs disappear shortly after immunization, the protective antiparasitic activity of this T cell response also is lost. These results demonstrate that IL-4/IL-4R interactions on CD8+ T cells play a critical role in modulating the development and tissue distribution of memory cells induced by parasite immunization. They also indicate that memory cells residing in nonlymphoid tissues are critical for protective immunity against malaria parasites
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