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Annu Rev Immunol. 1998;16:645-70.

Positive versus negative signaling by lymphocyte antigen receptors.

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


Antigen receptors on lymphocytes play a central role in immune regulation by transmitting signals that positively or negatively regulate lymphocyte survival, migration, growth, and differentiation. This review focuses on how opposing positive or negative cellular responses are brought about by antigen receptor signaling. Four types of extracellular inputs shape the response to antigen: (a) the concentration of antigen; (b) the avidity with which antigen is bound; (c) the timing and duration of antigen encounter; and (d) the association of antigen with costimuli from pathogens, the innate immune system, or other lymphocytes. Intracellular signaling by antigen receptors is not an all-or-none event, and these external variables alter both the quantity and quality of signaling. Recent findings in B lymphocytes have clearly illustrated that these external inputs affect the magnitude and duration of the intracellular calcium response, which in turn contributes to differential triggering of the transcriptional regulators NF kappa B, JNK, NFAT, and ERK. The regulation of calcium responses involves a network of tyrosine kinases (e.g. lyn, syk), tyrosine or lipid phosphatases (CD45, SHP-1, SHIP), and accessory molecules (CD21/CD19, CD22, FcR gamma 2b). Understanding the biochemistry and logic behind these integrative processes will allow development of more selective and efficient pharmaceuticals that suppress, modify, or augment immune responses in autoimmunity, transplantation, allergy, vaccines, and cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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