2D analysis of TCR-pMHC interaction reveals differential cell fate governed by tissue compartmentalization

We discovered that during the early immune contraction phase of an acute infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, 2D TCR–pMHC affinity of TCR transgenic P14 T cells increased more for cells from the splenic red pulp (RP) than the white pulp (WP). This difference was governed by regulatory T cells and TGF-β. The increased 2D affinity of RP cells correlated with their increased ability to kill target cells and to recognize a CTL escape epitope. Memory precursors from WP preferentially developed into long-term memory cells as compared to cells from RP, despite expression of the same memory markers.