Low T cell receptor expression and thermal fluctuations contribute to formation of dynamic multifocal synapses in thymocytes

Sung Joo E. Lee, Yuko Hori, Arup K. Chakraborty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mature T cell activation and selection of immature T cells (thymocytes) are both initiated by binding of T cell receptor (TCR) molecules on the surface of T cells to MHC peptide (MHCp) molecules on the surface of antigen-presenting cells. Recent experiments have shown that the spatial pattern of receptors and ligands in the intercellular junction (synapse) is different during thymocyte selection compared with mature T cell activation. Using a statistical mechanical model, we show that lower TCR expression in thymocytes contributes to effecting these differences. An analogy with the phase behavior of simple fluids helps clarify how, for low TCR expression, thermal fluctuations lead to the dynamic synapse patterns observed for thymocytes. We suggest that a different synapse pattern resulting from lower TCR expression, which could mediate differential signaling, may be the reason why TCR expression level is low in thymocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4383-4388
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume100
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Low T cell receptor expression and thermal fluctuations contribute to formation of dynamic multifocal synapses in thymocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this