A Sense of Space

Science's STKE  10 Oct 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 53, pp. tw11
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.53.tw11

T cells have acquired the ability to respond to the physical space in which they exist, as can be seen when they divide to fill lymphoid organs that are empty or contain only a few lymphocytes. Such homeostatic expansion is held in check when the space is fully occupied, and in this case, naïve T cells survive in a steady state. Seddon et al. examined the requirement for p56lck, a tyrosine kinase critically associated with T cell receptor signaling and T cell development. By switching off p56lck in mature naïve T cells, they made the surprising observation that, although this signaling molecule was necessary for homeostatic expansion, it was not required for T cell survival.

Seddon, B., Legname, B., Tomlinson, P., and Zamoyska, R. (2000) Long-term survival but impaired homeostatic proliferation of naïve T cells in the absence of p56lck. Science 290: 127-131. [Abstract] [Full Text]