T cell antigen receptor (TCR) diversity is a critical feature of adaptive immunity. However, restriction of TCR diversity is a potential risk during immune reconstitution by homeostatic proliferation. What peripheral mechanisms are in place to maintain TCR diversity during recovery from lymphopenia? Here, we examine competition between several monoclonal CD4 T cell populations in RAG-/- and TCR Tg RAG-/- environments. The results suggest that specific self ligands constitute a critical limiting resource essential for homeostatic proliferation of naive CD4 T cells. In addition, T cells ignore large numbers of competitors as long as their TCR specificity is different and other non-MHC resources are not limiting. Therefore, the numbers of self ligands expressed in the periphery set the limits on TCR diversity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 4 2003|