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Nat Med. 1999 May;5(5):565-71.

Altered peptide ligands narrow the repertoire of cellular immune responses by interfering with T-cell priming.

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Institute of Molecular Medicine, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, UK.


Variation in epitopes of infectious pathogens inhibits various effector functions of T lymphocytes through antagonism of the T-cell receptor. However, a more powerful strategy for immune evasion would be to prevent the induction of T-cell responses. We report here mutual 'interference' with the priming of human T-cell responses by a pair of naturally occurring variants of a malaria cytotoxic T-cell epitope. Interference with priming also occurs in vivo for a murine malaria T-cell epitope. Reshaping of the T-cell repertoire by such immune interference during naive T-cell induction may provide a general mechanism for observed patterns of immunodominance and persistence by many polymorphic pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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