Specificity, promiscuity, and precursor frequency in immunoreceptors

Curr Opin Immunol. 2013 Oct;25(5):639-45. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2013.07.001. Epub 2013 Jul 20.


The immune system is comprised of various immune cell populations that utilize a spectrum of immunoreceptors characterized by different levels of specificity, diversity, and prevalence within a host and across a population. These range from the universal receptors employed by both innate cells and innate-like cells, such as NKT and MAIT cells, through to receptors expressed on T cells with sporadic incidence. Here we review recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms that drive the observed spectra of T cell receptors in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Germ Cells / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell