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J Immunol. 2004 Jul 1;173(1):15-9.

B cell positive selection: road map to the primary repertoire?

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, John Morgan Building Room 284, 36th and Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Accumulating evidence indicates that positive selection events mediate differentiation, lineage commitment, and longevity of B lymphocytes. The BCR plays a central role, dictating the likelihood that newly formed cells will complete maturation, as well as whether cells persist within mature pools. Competition among B cells for limited, life span-promoting resources, which include self-ligands, lineage-specific cytokines, and innate receptor ligands, underlie these selective processes. Together, these observations suggest that positive selection is a critical feature in the establishment and maintenance of all lymphocyte pools, prompting re-evaluation of the underlying biological rationale for this process.

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