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.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Mar 15 1999|