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Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Jun;14(6):377-91. doi: 10.1038/nri3667. Epub 2014 May 16.

Positive and negative selection of the T cell repertoire: what thymocytes see (and don't see).

Author information

1
Institute for Immunology, Ludwig Maximilians University, 80336 Munich, Germany.
2
Division of Developmental Immunology, German Cancer Research Center, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.
3
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
4
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414, USA.

Abstract

The fate of developing T cells is specified by the interaction of their antigen receptors with self-peptide-MHC complexes that are displayed by thymic antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Various subsets of thymic APCs are strategically positioned in particular thymic microenvironments and they coordinate the selection of a functional and self-tolerant T cell repertoire. In this Review, we discuss the different strategies that these APCs use to sample and process self antigens and to thereby generate partly unique, 'idiosyncratic' peptide-MHC ligandomes. We discuss how the particular composition of the peptide-MHC ligandomes that are presented by specific APC subsets not only shapes the T cell repertoire in the thymus but may also indelibly imprint the behaviour of mature T cells in the periphery.

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PMID:
24830344
PMCID:
PMC4757912
DOI:
10.1038/nri3667
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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