The molecular basis for public T-cell responses?

Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Mar;8(3):231-8. doi: 10.1038/nri2260.


Public T-cell responses, in which T cells bearing identical T-cell receptors (TCRs) are observed to dominate the response to the same antigenic epitope in multiple individuals, have long been a focus of immune T-cell repertoire studies. However, the mechanism that enables the survival of a specific TCR from the diverse repertoire produced in the thymus through to its involvement in a public immune response remains unclear. In this Opinion article, we propose that the frequency of production of T cells bearing different TCRs during recombination has an important role in the sharing of TCRs in an immune response, with variable levels of 'convergent recombination' driving production frequencies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell