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Nat Immunol. 2001 Jun;2(6):487-92.

Antigen decoding by T lymphocytes: from synapses to fate determination.

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Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Via Vincenzo Vela 6, CH-6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland.


Naïve T lymphocytes sense foreign antigens by establishing contacts with dendritic cells (DCs). At the immunological synapse between the T cell and a DC, T cell receptors (TCRs) are serially engaged and triggered by specific ligands. The amount and duration of TCR triggering and the efficiency of signal amplification determine T cell commitment to proliferation and differentiation. The nature and availability of DCs bearing antigen and costimulatory molecules shape the T cell response, giving rise to distinct functional outputs such as effector and memory T cell generation or T cell tolerance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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