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Nat Immunol. 2001 Mar;2(3):203-9.

The expanding B7 superfamily: increasing complexity in costimulatory signals regulating T cell function.

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  • 1Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc, Inflammation Division, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


Upon encounter with specific antigen, naïveT helper precursor (THP) cells become activated. This event is regulated not only by engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR) with peptide presented in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules but by a number of costimulatory signals. CD28 engagement by B7-1 and B7-2 on resting THP cells provides a critical signal for initial cell cycle progression, interleukin 2 production and clonal expansion. However, largely as a consequence of the unraveling of the human genome, it is becoming clear that B7-1 and B7-2 are part of a larger family T of related counter-receptors that play an essential role in regulating the fate of primed, rather then resting,THP cells. These molecules play an important sequential role and act, together with B7-1- and B7-2-primed T cells, in the acquisition of effector function and/or tolerance induction.

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