The role of the T cell receptor in positive and negative selection of developing T cells

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Science  15 Jun 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4961, pp. 1335-1341
DOI: 10.1126/science.1972592


Although many combinations of alpha beta T cell receptors are available to the T cells in any given organism, far fewer are actually used by mature T cells. The combinations used are limited by two selective processes, positive selection of T cells bearing receptors that will be useful to the host, and clonal elimination or inactivation of T cells bearing receptors that will be damaging to the host. The ways in which these two apparently contradictory processes occur, and the hypotheses that have been suggested to reconcile them, are discussed.

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