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Immunity. 2000 May;12(5):547-56.

Junctional biases in the naive TCR repertoire control the CTL response to an immunodominant determinant of HSV-1.

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Department of Pathology and Immunology, Monash Medical School, Prahran, Victoria, Australia.


The enormous diversity of the T cell pool makes it difficult to determine whether inherent biases in the naive TCR repertoire can influence T cell responsiveness. In C57BL/6 mice the cytotoxic T lymphocyte response to an immunodominant HSV-1 determinant (gB) is characterized by a prominent bias in Vbeta element usage, associated with a conserved and preferentially D element-encoded CDR3 sequence. Comparison of naive and gB-specific T cell populations revealed a similar enrichment of germline D element-encoded CDR3 sequences in the preimmune repertoire. Strikingly, eliminating the germline coding of the gB-specific CDR3 sequence caused an almost complete loss of the dominant subset of gB-specific T cells, illustrating that CDR3 biases can significantly alter both the composition and strength of an immune response.

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