Tissue-resident memory T cells in the urogenital tract

Loreto Parga-Vidal, Michiel C. van Aalderen, Regina Stark, Klaas P. J. M. van Gisbergen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Our understanding of T cell memory responses changed drastically with the discovery that specialized T cell memory populations reside within peripheral tissues at key pathogen entry sites. These tissue-resident memory T (TRM) cells can respond promptly to an infection without the need for migration, proliferation or differentiation. This rapid and local deployment of effector functions maximizes the ability of TRM cells to eliminate pathogens. TRM cells do not circulate through peripheral tissues but instead form isolated populations in the skin, gut, liver, kidneys, the reproductive tract and other organs. This long-term retention in the periphery might allow TRM cells to fully adapt to the local conditions of their environment and mount customized responses to counter infection and tumour growth in a tissue-specific manner. In the urogenital tract, TRM cells must adapt to a unique microenvironment to confer protection against potential threats, including cancer and infection, while preventing the onset of auto-inflammatory disease. In this Review, we discuss insights into the diversification of TRM cells from other memory T cell lineages, the adaptations of TRM cells to their local environment, and their enhanced capacity to counter infection and tumour growth compared with other memory T cell populations, especially in the urogenital tract.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-223
Number of pages15
JournalNature Reviews. Nephrology
Issue number4
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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