The T-cell repertoire available for recognition of self-antigens

Curr Opin Immunol. 2001 Dec;13(6):639-43. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(01)00272-2.


Autoimmunity can be viewed as the price we pay in order to have a highly diverse TCR repertoire. This is not to say that every effort isn't made by the immune system to prevent autoimmune disease. During thymic development, and later in the periphery, the TCR repertoire is continuously purged of cells that are activated by self-antigens. Other lymphocytes are recruited to join a legion of T regulatory cells that assist in preventing 'friendly fire'. Recent studies continue to reveal the importance of the composition of the T cell repertoire in predisposing an individual to autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Autoimmunity*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Clonal Deletion
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Thymus Gland / growth & development
  • Thymus Gland / immunology


  • Autoantigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell