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Lymphocyte migration is essential for human adaptive immune surveillance. However, our current understanding of this process is rudimentary, because most human studies to date have been restricted to immunological analyses of blood and various tissues. To address this issue, we used an integrated approach to characterize tissue-emigrant immune cells in thoracic duct lymph (TDL). In humans and non-human primates, lymphocytes were by far the most abundant immune lineage population in efferent lymph, and a vast majority of these lymphocytes were T cells. Cytolytic CD8+ T cell subsets were clonotypically discrete and selectively confined to the intravascular circulation, persisting for months after inhibition of S1P-dependent tissue egress by FTY-720. In contrast, non-cytolytic CD8+ T cell subsets with stem-like epigenetic and transcriptional signatures predominated in tissues and TDL. Collectively, these data provide an atlas of the migratory immune system and define the nature of tissue-emigrant CD8+ T cells that recirculate via TDL. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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