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Science. 2007 Mar 23;315(5819):1687-91. Epub 2007 Mar 1.

Asymmetric T lymphocyte division in the initiation of adaptive immune responses.

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  • 1Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

A hallmark of mammalian immunity is the heterogeneity of cell fate that exists among pathogen-experienced lymphocytes. We show that a dividing T lymphocyte initially responding to a microbe exhibits unequal partitioning of proteins that mediate signaling, cell fate specification, and asymmetric cell division. Asymmetric segregation of determinants appears to be coordinated by prolonged interaction between the T cell and its antigen-presenting cell before division. Additionally, the first two daughter T cells displayed phenotypic and functional indicators of being differentially fated toward effector and memory lineages. These results suggest a mechanism by which a single lymphocyte can apportion diverse cell fates necessary for adaptive immunity.

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PMID:
17332376
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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