Volume 12 Issue 6, June 2011

Volume 12 Issue 6

Memory is a key feature of the central nervous system that enables an organism to adapt and respond appropriately to a stimulus-rich environment. In the same way, the ability of the adaptive immune system to 'remember' past encounters with pathogens allows the host to survive in an antigenically hostile environment. This month's focus features a series of specially commissioned reviews of the cellular and molecular bases of immunological memory (http://www.nature.com/ni/focus/immunologicalmemory/). Artwork by Lewis Long.


  • Editorial |

    Memory is the signature property of the adaptive response, and vaccination is a hugely important medical intervention—understanding the former will help perfect the latter.


  • Overview |

    Naive lymphocytes have a finite lifespan and are continually replaced by input from generative organs. In contrast, memory cells or their progeny can last a lifetime. The expanded populations of memory cells and their more widespread distribution provide protection against recurrent infection.

    • Michael J Bevan


Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Identification of the pathogenic cytokines that underlie the IL-23-dependent disease progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis has proven elusive. Evidence now points to GM-CSF.

    • Mandy J McGeachy
  • News & Views |

    The transcription factor Foxp1 helps maintain the quiescence of naive T cells by inhibiting IL-7Rα expression and diminishing signaling by the kinase Erk.

    • Cara N Skon
    •  & Stephen C Jameson



  • Focus |

    Immunological Memory

    Seven specially commissioned articles and an overview survey the topic of immunological memory.