The perception and response of T cells to a changing environment are based on the law of initial value

SCIENCE SIGNALING(2022)

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摘要
alpha beta T cells are critical components of the adaptive immune system and are capable of inducing sterilizing immunity after pathogen infection and eliminating transformed tumor cells. The development and function of T cells are controlled through the T cell antigen receptor, which recognizes peptides displayed on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Here, we review how T cells generate the ability to recognize self-peptide-bound MHC molecules and use signals derived from these interactions to instruct cellular development, activation thresholds, and functional specialization in the steady state and during immune responses. We argue that the basic tenants of T cell development and function follow Weber-Fetcher's law of just noticeable differences and Wilder's law of initial value. Together, these laws argue that the ability of a system to respond and the quality of that response are scalable to the basal state of that system. Manifestation of these laws in T cells generates clone-specific activation thresholds that are based on perceivable differences between homeostasis and pathogen encounter (self versus nonself discrimination), as well as poised states for subsequent differentiation into specific effector cell lineages.
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