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Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 Jul;5(7):532-45.

Tuning immune responses: diversity and adaptation of the immunological synapse.

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Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine and Department of Dermatology, University of Würzburg, Würzburg 97080, Germany.


The onset and regulation of a specific immune response results from communication between T cells and antigen-presenting cells (APCs), which form molecular interactions at the site of cell-cell contact--and this is known as the immunological synapse. Initially, the immunological synapse was viewed as a stereotypical adhesion and signalling device with a defined molecular structure and signalling processes. However, as we discuss here, T-cell-APC interactions comprise a diverse range of contact modes and distinct molecular arrangements. These diverse interaction modes might define a molecular code, in which the differences in timing, spacing and molecular composition of the signalling platform determine the outcome of T-cell-APC interactions.

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