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Science. 1995 Apr 7;268(5207):106-11.

Antigen-specific development of primary and memory T cells in vivo.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA.


The expansion and contraction of specific helper T cells in the draining lymph nodes of normal mice after injection with antigen was followed. T cell receptors from purified primary and memory responder cells had highly restricted junctional regions, indicating antigen-driven selection. Selection for homogeneity in the length of the third complementarity-determining region (CDR3) occurs before selection for some of the characteristic amino acids, indicating the importance of this parameter in T cell receptor recognition. Ultimately, particular T cell receptor sequences come to predominate in the secondary response and others disappear, showing the selective preservation or expansion of specific T cell clones.

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