After initial antigen stimulation, T cells and B cells proliferate and undergo morphological changes. Some become terminally differentiated effector cells (e.g. cytotoxic cells) while others revert to cells that are primed to respond to that particular antigen again. These memory cells are responsible for mounting a rapid secondary response to the antigen. B memory cells can live up to 10 years, while T cell memory is shorter.
Long-lived lymphocytes produced by exposure to antigen. They persist in the body and are able to mount a rapid response to subsequent exposures to the antigen.
Lymphocytes that have previously responded to a specific antigenic stimulus. They survive for exceedingly long periods and can respond rapidly to the same antigen.
Lymphocytes that store information on antigens previously encountered
Long-lived lymphocytes which have already been primed with their antigen, but have not undergone terminal differentiation into effector cells. They react more readily than naive lymphocytes when restimulated with the same antigen.
T- and B cells formed during the primary contact with a foreign substance and through which immunological memory is mediated.
white blood cells left in the body after an infection that help protect against future infection
T or B cells involved in immune response against a repeated encounter with an antigen
A subset of T lymphocytes that have been exposed to specific antigens and can then proliferate (i.e., reproduce) on subsequent immune system encounters with the same antigen. See also Antigen; T Cells.