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Immunity. 1999 Apr;10(4):485-92.

A kinetic basis for T cell receptor repertoire selection during an immune response.

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Program in Cancer Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA.


The basis for T cell antigen receptor (TCR) repertoire selection upon repeated antigenic challenge is unclear. We evaluated the avidity and dissociation kinetics of peptide/major histocompatibility complex (MHC) tetramer binding to antigen-specific T lymphocytes isolated following primary or secondary immunization. The data reveal a narrowing of the secondary repertoire relative to the primary repertoire, largely resulting from the loss of cells expressing TCRs with the fastest dissociation rates for peptide/MHC binding. In addition, T cells in the secondary response express TCRs of higher average affinity for peptide/MHC than cells in the primary response. These results provide a link between the kinetics and affinity of TCR-peptide/MHC interactions and TCR sequence selection during the course of an immune response.

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