T-cell avidity and tuning: The flexible connection between tolerance and autoimmunity

Jasper Van Den Boorn*, I. Caroline Le Poole, Rosalie Luiten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-258
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Autoimmunity
  • Avidity
  • T-cell
  • Tolerance
  • Tuning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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