Augmentation in expression of activation-induced genes differentiates memory from naive CD4+ T cells and is a molecular mechanism for enhanced cellular response of memory CD4+ T cells

Kebin Liu, Y. Li, V. Prabhu, L. Young, K. G. Becker, P. J. Munson, N. P. Weng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


In an attempt to understand the molecular basis for the immunological memory response, we have used CDNA microarrays to measure gene expression of human memory and naive CD4+ T cells at rest and after activation. Our analysis of 54,768 cDNA clones provides the first glimpse into gene expression patterns of memory and naive CD4+ T cells at the genome-scale and reveals several novel findings. First, memory and naive CD4+ T cells expressed similar numbers of genes at rest and after activation. Second, we have identified 14 cDNA clones that expressed higher levels of transcripts in memory cells than in naive cells. Third, we have identified 135 (130 known genes and 5 expressed sequence tags) up-regulated and 68 (42 known genes and 26 expressed sequence tags) down-regulated cDNA clones in memory CD4+ T after in vitro stimulation with anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28. Interestingly, the increase in mRNA levels of up-regulated genes was greater in memory than in naive CD4+ T cells after in vitro stimulation and was higher with anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28 than with anti-CD3 alone in both memory and naive CD4+ T cells. Finally, the changes in expression of actin and cytokine genes identified by cDNA microarrays were confirmed by Northern and protein analyses. Together, we have identified ∼200 cDNA clones whose expression levels changed after activation and suggest that the level of expression of up-regulated genes is a molecular mechanism that differentiates the response of memory from naive CD4+ T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7335-7344
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this