Antigen receptor‐directed suicide plays an important role in the elimination of potentially autoaggressive immature T cells during thymic differentiation. Here we demonstrate evidence for a second pathway of receptor‐directed suicide in mature T cells that is missing in a mutant strain gld of mice with an “autoimmune” lymphoproliferative syndrome. The defect is evident within the gld activated T cell and does not require the presence of an antigen‐presenting cell for its expression. Receptor‐driven suicide is intact in immature T cells of animals with this mutation. These results support the significance of receptor‐directed suicide in the mature T cell compartment and suggest that the immune system may use three independent pathways for regulating programmed cell death in shaping and controlling the immune response.
- Autoimmunity/Programmed cell death/Inflammation/Peripheral tolerance