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J Immunol. 2003 Jan 15;170(2):672-6.

Cutting edge: homeostatic proliferation of peripheral T lymphocytes is regulated by clonal competition.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.


Homeostatic proliferation functions to maintain peripheral T cell numbers and is regulated by cytokines. In this study, we provide evidence that T cell homeostasis is also regulated by clonal competition. Naive polyclonal T cells divided when transferred to TCR transgenic hosts, as did monoclonal T cells when transferred to TCR transgenic hosts of differing clonotype. However, T cells did not divide in hosts of identical clono-type. Transgenic T cell proliferation was inhibited in irradiated hosts of the same clonotype, while cotransferred nontransgenic T cells proliferated extensively. These results show that clonal competition is a component of homeostasis that may contribute to selection of the peripheral T cell repertoire.

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