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Annu Rev Immunol. 1992;10:489-518.

Transgenic mice and analysis of B-cell tolerance.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Beckman Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5428.


Understanding the mechanism of immunological tolerance to self-antigens remains a fundamental problem in immunology. Transgenic mice carrying rearranged antigen-receptor genes have provided a window into the events involved in this process, by allowing the development and fate of antigen-specific lymphocytes to be followed in vivo. In the B-cell lineage, as in T cells, self-reactive cells have been found to undergo several distinct fates in vivo: they can be physically eliminated, functionally inactivated, or they can persist unchanged or become activated. As discussed in this review, direct visualization of the fate of self-reactive cells resolves one of the key issues in tolerance. Achieving a precise understanding of the cellular and molecular events leading to lymphocyte deletion, anergy, or activation nevertheless remains a challenge for the future.

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