Antigen-specific development of primary and memory T cells in vivo

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Science  07 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5207, pp. 106-111
DOI: 10.1126/science.7535476


The expansion and contraction of specific helper T cells in the draining lymph nodes of normal mice after injection with antigen was followed. T cell receptors from purified primary and memory responder cells had highly restricted junctional regions, indicating antigen-driven selection. Selection for homogeneity in the length of the third complementarity-determining region (CDR3) occurs before selection for some of the characteristic amino acids, indicating the importance of this parameter in T cell receptor recognition. Ultimately, particular T cell receptor sequences come to predominate in the secondary response and others disappear, showing the selective preservation or expansion of specific T cell clones.

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