Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Jun;18(3):305-13. Epub 2006 Apr 17.

Immunological synapse and microclusters: the site for recognition and activation of T cells.

Author information

Laboratory for Cell Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan.


An immunological synapse (IS) is formed at the interface between antigen-presenting cells and T cells, and is believed to be the structure responsible for antigen recognition and T-cell activation. However, recent imaging analyses reveal that T-cell receptor microclusters (MCs) formed prior to IS are the site for antigen recognition and T-cell activation. MCs are continuously generated at the periphery of the interface, even after IS formation, and induce sustained activation signals. MC formation is not accompanied by lipid-raft clustering. Central supramolecular activation cluster is considered functional in recycling and degradation of T-cell receptors, directional secretion of cytokines and cytolytic granules, generation of sustained signals, or maintenance of the cell-cell conjugation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center