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Semin Immunol. 1997 Dec;9(6):347-53.

The peripheral T-cell pool: regulation by non-antigen induced proliferation?

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Immunology Research Group, Biological Sciences, Manchester University Medical School, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK.


Despite continuous perturbations, the recirculating lymphocyte pool remains relatively constant. Expansion of the pool is compensated for by cell loss. When the T-cell pool is in deficit, either from a congenital defect or an acquired immunodeficiency, T-cell numbers are restored by extrathymic division-a response that occurs without deliberate provocation. We have considered how the recirculating pool may be stably maintained and how a T-cell deficit might be restored to equilibrium. Recent evidence suggests that depleted T-cell compartments are replenished by CD4 T-cell proliferation in the absence of specific antigen, a response that occurs without engaging the T-cell receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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