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Trends Immunol. 2001 Apr;22(4):187-91.

Interaction of T cells with APCs: the serial encounter model.

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Cell Migration Laboratory, Dept of Dermatology, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


Primary immune responses are initiated by specific physical interaction of antigen-specific T cells and professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Productive interactions can be a dynamic process that combines physical T-cell binding to APCs with vigorous crawling across and scanning of the APC surface, resulting in signal induction. After T-cell detachment, subsequent migratory contacts to the same or neighboring dendritic cells (DCs) allow the accumulation of sequential signals and interaction time. Here, we develop a serial encounter model of T-cell activation and discuss how the summation of multiple signals provides an efficient strategy to control an ongoing immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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