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Nature. 1991 Oct 17;353(6345):660-2.

On the complexity of self.

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Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Self peptides bound to self major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules have been implicated both in positive and in negative selection of T cells during intrathymic development. We report here that the novel MHC-restricted monoclonal antibody Y-Ae detects the MHC class II bound form of a major self peptide. Y-Ae binds approximately 12% of the relevant MHC class II molecules on self antigen presenting cells. The peptide detected by Y-Ae is one of several major peptides eluted from the MHC molecule. These data suggest that self peptides presented by self MHC class II molecules at densities sufficient to signal a CD4 T cell are of very limited complexity. Furthermore, as Y-Ae stains antigen presenting cells that mediate negative selection but not thymic cortical epithelial cells that drive positive selection, differential expression of self peptide:self MHC class II complexes may be a key feature of intrathymic selection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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