The fourth way? Harnessing aggressive tendencies in the thymus

Troy A. Baldwin, A. Kristin, Hogquist, Stephen C. Jameson

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

78 Scopus citations


During late stages of thymic development, T cells must chose between different fates, dictated by their TCR specificity. Typically, this is thought of as a choice between three alternatives (being positive selection for useful T cells vs negative selection or neglect for harmful or useless T cells). However, there is growing evidence for a fourth alternative, in which T cells are positively selected by agonist ligands, which would normally be expected to induce T cell deletion. In this review, we will discuss where and when agonist selection is induced and whether this should be considered as a novel form ofthymic selection or as an alternative differentiation state for Ag-exposed T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6515-6520
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


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