Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Stimulatory Signals Add Up for T Cells

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Sci. Signal.  02 Dec 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 354, pp. ec336
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaa3744

T cell activation is a dynamic process. T cells encounter multiple input signals like antigen, costimulatory molecules, and cytokines at different times and anatomical locations during an infection. But how do T cells integrate this information to determine the extent to which they divide? To find out, Marchingo et al. stimulated mouse T cells in culture with different combinations of inputs and also tracked antigen-specific T cell responses in mice infected with influenza virus. They found that T cells linearly sum the various stimulatory inputs they receive to determine their “division destiny.”

J. M. Marchingo, A. Kan, R. M. Sutherland, K. R. Duffy, Cameron J. Wellard, Gabrielle T. Belz, A. M. Lew, M. R. Dowling, S. Heinzel, P. D. Hodgkin, Antigen affinity, costimulation, and cytokine inputs sum linearly to amplify T cell expansion. Science 346, 1123–1127 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]