The Murine T-Cell Antigen: Ia Receptor: Functional and Structural Analysis with a Monoclonal Antireceptor Antibody

  • Jonathan Kaye


Antigen specificity is intrinsic to the T-cell as well as the B-cell compartment of an immune response. However, the term T cell applies to a heterogeneous population of lymphocytes. T cells were originally divided into subsets based on apparent function, subsequently classified by surface phenotype, and more recently classified by their antigen recognition properties. As a population, T cells are capable of recognizing a large number of diverse antigens. Like B-cell antigen recognition, mediated by membrane immunoglobulin, T-cell antigen recognition is a clonally distributed property such that any given T cell and its progeny are, allowing for an expected degree of cross-reactivity, monospecific. Unlike B cells, however, helper T lymphocytes, which induce B-cell growth and antibody secretion, and cytolytic T cells, which are capable of destroying virally infected cells, only recognize foreign antigen in conjunction with self major histocompatibility complex (MHC) glycoproteins on the surface of another cell. In immunologic slang, the dual specificity of these T-cell subsets for foreign antigen and self MHC molecules has been termed “MHC restriction,” since the ability of the T cell to recognize foreign antigen in this case is restricted by MHC molecules. In general, helper T cells recognize antigen in conjunction with class II MHC molecules (Ia antigens), and cytolytic T cells recognize foreign antigen in conjunction with class I MHC molecules.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Antigen Receptor Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule Accessory Cell Major Histocompatibility Complex Restriction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Kaye
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego, La JollaUSA

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