The nature of the peptide/ MHC ligand involved in positive selection

Kristin A. Hogquist, Michael J. Bevan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Positive and negative selection in the thymus occur when the TCR on an immature thymocyte engages self peptide/MHC complexes present on epithelial cells. The signaling mechanism which dictates the selection outcome is currently a matter of intense investigation. Here we review experiments that defined the peptide ligands for positive selection. A comparison of these to the peptide ligands that induce negative selection (antigenic peptides) sheds some insight into how a thymocyte interprets peptide/MHC interactions leading to life versus death of the cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1996


  • Agonist
  • Antagonist
  • Thymus

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