Thymic T-cell selection mechanisms generate a cross-reactive, self-MHC restricted peripheral T-cell pool. Affinity and avidity are of profound influence on this selection and the generation of immunity. Autoreactive T cells can escape thymic deletion by lowering their avidity and retain this "tuned" state in the periphery. Upon activation, tuned T cells can cause autoimmunity, while immunotherapeutic strategies may be hampered by existing T-cell tolerance. The regulation of T-cell avidity and tuning therefore determines the balance between tolerance and autoimmunity and should be taken into account in the design of therapeutic strategies aimed at T-cell reactivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy