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Immunity. 1996 Jul;5(1):41-52.

Duration of TCR stimulation determines costimulatory requirement of T cells.

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Ontario Cancer Institute, Department of Biophysics, Toronto, Canada.


Current models suggest that T cells that receive only signal-1 through antigenic stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR) become anergic, but will mount an immune response when a costimulatory signal-2 is provided. Using mice deficient for an important costimulatory molecule, CD28, we show that a transient signal-1 alone, either through infection with an abortively replicating virus, or through injection of viral peptide, anergizes CD8+ T cells, demonstrating the biological relevance of T cell anergy in vivo. However, in the absence of CD28, continued presence of signal-1 alone, either through prolonged viral replication or repeated injection of peptide, prevents the induction of anergy and generates a functional T cell response in vivo.

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