Cutting edge: Negative selection of immature thymocytes by a few peptide-MHC complexes: Differential sensitivity of immature and mature T cells

Daniel A. Peterson, Richard J. DiPaolo, Osami Kanagawa, Emil R. Unanue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

We quantitated the number of peptide-class II MHC complexes required to affect the deletion or activation of 3A9 TCR transgenic thymocytes. Deletion of immature double positive thymocytes was very sensitive taking place with approximately three peptide-MHC complexes per APC. However, the activation of mature CD4+ thymocytes required 100-fold more complexes per APC. Therefore, a biochemical margin of safety exists at the level of the APC. To be activated, autoreactive T cells in peripheral lymphoid tissues require a relatively high level of peptide-MHC complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3117-3120
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume162
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 1999

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