T cell activation determined by T cell receptor number and tunable thresholds

Antonella Viola, Antonio Lanzavecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The requirements for T cell activation have been reported to vary widely depending on the state of the T cell, the type of antigen-presenting cell, and the nature of the T cell receptor (TCR) ligand. A unitary requirement for T cell responses was revealed by measurement of the number of triggered TCRs. Irrespective of the nature of the triggering ligand, T cells 'counted' the number of triggered TCRs and responded when a threshold of ~8000 TCRs was reached. The capacity to reach the activation threshold was severely compromised by a reduction in the number of TCRs. Costimulatory signals lowered the activation threshold to ~1500 TCRs, thus making T cells more sensitive to antigenic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-106
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume273
Issue number5271
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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