T-Cell Activation and Tolerance

Erik J. Peterson, Jonathan S. Maltzman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Activation of T lymphocytes during an immune response triggers a series of programmed gene regulation, proliferation, differentiation, and effector functions. These T-cell functions coordinate with other leukocytes to permit the immune system to react against foreign antigens without initiating self-reactivity or autoimmunity. Each of these functions is fully dependent on environmental cues that are recognized by cell surface receptors and are then translated through biochemical alterations within the cell. This chapter discusses signal transduction through one of the most studied of these receptors, the antigen-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) complex. It addresses the mechanisms whereby signals propagated through the TCR combine with those from costimulatory receptors to produce either productive activation or immune tolerance. It also discusses how abnormal TCR signaling, as well as imbalanced signaling through costimulatory or coinhibitor molecules, can contribute to T-cell dysfunction and disease. Targeting these molecular pathways has resulted in several clinically relevant drugs currently used to treat autoimmunity, transplant rejection, and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClinical Immunology
Subtitle of host publicationPrinciples and Practice
ISBN (Electronic)9780702068966
ISBN (Print)9780702070396
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Central tolerance
  • Peripheral tolerance
  • T-cell coinhibition
  • T-cell costimulation
  • T-cell immunodeficiency
  • T-cell receptor
  • T-cell signaling
  • T-cell tolerance


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