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Semin Immunol. 1989 Sep;1(1):13-20.

The priming of helper T cells.

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Section of Immunobiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Before helper T cells and B cells can interact to produce specific antibody, the antigen-specific helper T cell precursors must be primed. Priming is a fairly abrupt event which occurs in vivo about 5 days after immunization. Priming involves several steps: Antigen uptake, processing, and cell surface expression bound to class II MHC molecules by an antigen presenting cell, recirculation and antigen-specific trapping of helper T cell precursors in lymphoid tissue, and T cell proliferation and differentiation. Helper T cells express CD4, but not all CD4 T cells are helper cells. The signals required for clonal expansion of helper T cells differ from those required by other CD4 T cells. The critical antigen-presenting cell for helper T cell priming appears to be a macrophage, and the critical second signal for helper T cell growth is the macrophage product interleukin-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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