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Rev Immunogenet. 2000;2(1):2-17.

T cell tolerance and autoimmunity.

Author information

1
Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

A functional immune system requires a T cell repertoire that is extremely diverse so as to allow for the elimination of all possible pathogens. However, the production of an immense T cell repertoire also increases the likelihood of generating autoreactive T cells. The immune system must therefore also incorporate a means of silencing or eliminating autoreactive T cells, while minimally sacrificing T cell diversity. The induction and maintenance of T cell unresponsiveness to self antigens is thus defined as T cell tolerance. This review provides an overview of the T cell tolerance mechanisms invoked in the thymus and in the periphery to prevent the induction of autoimmunity. Factors that can influence the induction of tolerance and autoimmunity are also discussed.

PMID:
11324690
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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