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Quantifying changes in the T cell receptor repertoire during thymic development

Camaglia, Francesco; Ryvkin, Arie; Greenstein, Erez; Reich-Zeliger, Shlomit; Chain, Benny; Mora, Thierry; Walczak, Aleksandra M; (2023) Quantifying changes in the T cell receptor repertoire during thymic development. eLife , 12 , Article e81622. 10.7554/eLife.81622. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

One of the feats of adaptive immunity is its ability to recognize foreign pathogens while sparing the self. During maturation in the thymus, T cells are selected through the binding properties of their antigen-specific T-cell receptor (TCR), through the elimination of both weakly (positive selection) and strongly (negative selection) self-reactive receptors. However, the impact of thymic selection on the TCR repertoire is poorly understood. Here, we use transgenic Nur77-mice expressing a T-cell activation reporter to study the repertoires of thymic T cells at various stages of their development, including cells that do not pass selection. We combine high-throughput repertoire sequencing with statistical inference techniques to characterize the selection of the TCR in these distinct subsets. We find small but significant differences in the TCR repertoire parameters between the maturation stages, which recapitulate known differentiation pathways leading to the CD4+ and CD8+ subtypes. These differences can be simulated by simple models of selection acting linearly on the sequence features. We find no evidence of specific sequences or sequence motifs or features that are suppressed by negative selection. These results favour a collective or statistical model for T-cell self non-self discrimination, where negative selection biases the repertoire away from self recognition, rather than ensuring lack of self-reactivity at the single-cell level.

Type: Article
Title: Quantifying changes in the T cell receptor repertoire during thymic development
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.81622
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.81622
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Immunology, inflammation, mouse, physics of living systems
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164068
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