Sleep Matters: CD4+ T Cell Memory Formation and the Central Nervous System

Tanja Lange, Jan Born, Jürgen Westermann*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


The mechanisms of CD4+ T-cell memory formation in the immune system are debated. With the well-established concept of memory formation in the central nervous system (CNS), we propose that formation of CD4+ T-cell memory depends on the interaction of two different cell systems handling two types of stored information. First, information about antigen (event) and challenge (context) is taken up by antigen-presenting cells, as initial storage. Second, event and context information is transferred to CD4+ T cells. During activation, two categories of CD4+ T cell develop: effector CD4+ T cells, carrying event and context information, enabling them to efficiently focus their response to tissues under attack; and persisting CD4+ T cells, providing context-independent antigen-specific memories and long-term storage. This novel hypothesis is supported by the observation that mammalian sleep can improve both CNS and CD4+ T-cell memory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)674-686
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 08.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)
  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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