A nondeletional mechanism of thymic self tolerance

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Science  24 Nov 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4933, pp. 1038-1041
DOI: 10.1126/science.2511629


T cells become tolerant of self antigens during their development in the thymus. Clonal deletion of thymocytes bearing self-reactive T cell receptors is a major mechanism for generating tolerance and occurs readily for antigens expressed by bone marrow-derived cells. Tolerance to antigens expressed on the radioresistant thymic stromal elements is demonstrated here to occur via a nondeletional mechanism. For minor lymphocyte stimulatory (Mls-1a) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens, this alternate form of tolerance induction results in clonal anergy.

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