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Dominance of one T-cell receptor in the H–2Kb/TNP response


T-cell receptors (TCRs) recognize foreign antigens in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHQ-encoded cell surface proteins. These receptors are heterogeneous, dimeric glycoproteins composed of disulphide linked α- and β-chains. We analysed the diversity of TCRs in a collection of H–2Kb-restricted, 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl (TNP)-specific (H–2Kb/TNP) cytotoxic T-cell (Tc) clones from C57BL/6 mice. Investigation of the β-chain messenger RNAs revealed that nearly half of these independent clones expressed an identical β-chain gene1. We show here that almost all the Tc clones expressing the predominant β-chain gene also express an identical α-chain gene. These results show that a strong selective pressure acted on the Tc population, resulting in a skewing of the TCR repertoire for H–2Kb/TNP and in the dominant expression of one TCR with this specificity. Possible explanations for this skewing include antigen-driven clonal expansion and network interactions.

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Hochgeschwender, U., Simon, HG., Weltzien, H. et al. Dominance of one T-cell receptor in the H–2Kb/TNP response. Nature 326, 307–309 (1987).

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