Clonal deletion versus clonal anergy: the role of the thymus in inducing self tolerance

Science  15 Jun 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4961, pp. 1342-1348
DOI: 10.1126/science.1972593


During development in the thymus, T cells are rendered tolerant to self antigens. It is now apparent that thymocytes bearing self-reactive T cell receptors can be tolerized by processes that result in physical elimination (clonal deletion) or functional inactivation (clonal anergy). As these mechanisms have important clinical implications for transplantation and autoimmunity, current investigations are focused on understanding the cellular and molecular interactions that generate these forms of tolerance.

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