Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26728651
Nat Commun 2016;7:10281
Antigen receptor diversity underpins adaptive immunity by providing the ground for clonal selection of lymphocytes with the appropriate antigen reactivity. Current models attribute T cell clonal selection during the immune response to T-cell receptor (TCR) affinity for either foreign or self peptides. Here, we report that clonal selection of CD4(+) T cells is also extrinsically regulated by B cells. In response to viral infection, the antigen-specific TCR repertoire is progressively diversified by staggered clonotypic expansion, according to functional avidity, which correlates with self-reactivity. Clonal expansion of lower-avidity T-cell clonotypes depends on availability of MHC II-expressing B cells, in turn influenced by B-cell activation. B cells clonotypically diversify the CD4(+) T-cell response also to vaccination or tumour challenge, revealing a common effect.