5 years ago

The Mechanisms of T Cell Selection in the Thymus

The Mechanisms of T Cell Selection in the Thymus
Hiroyuki Takaba, Hiroshi Takayanagi

T cells undergo positive and negative selection in the thymic cortex and medulla, respectively. A promiscuous expression of a wide array of self-antigens in the thymus is essential for the negative selection of self-reactive T cells and the establishment of central tolerance. Aire was originally thought to be the exclusive factor regulating the expression of tissue-restricted antigens, but Fezf2 recently emerged as a critical transcription factor in this regulatory activity. Fezf2 is selectively expressed in thymic medullary epithelial cells, regulates a large number of tissue-restricted antigens and suppresses the onset of autoimmune responses. Here, we discuss novel findings on the transcriptional mechanisms of tissue restricted-antigen expression in the medullary thymic epithelial cells and its effects on T cell selection.

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