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      Clonal selection and learning in the antibody system.

      Nature

      Alleles, Animals, Antibody Formation, genetics, physiology, Antibody Specificity, B-Lymphocytes, cytology, immunology, Cell Differentiation, Chickens, Clone Cells, Hematopoiesis, Humans, Immune Tolerance, Immunoglobulin Variable Region, Immunologic Memory, Mutation, Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell

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          Abstract

          Each antibody-producing B cell makes antibodies of unique specificity, reflecting a series of ordered gene rearrangements which must be successfully performed if the cell is to survive. A second selection process occurs during immune responses in which a new antibody repertoire is generated through somatic hypermutation. Here only mutants binding antigen with high affinity survive to become memory cells. Cells expressing autoreactive receptors are counter-selected at both stages. This stringent positive and negative selection allows the generation and diversification of cells while rigorously controlling their specificity.

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          Journal
          8657279
          10.1038/381751a0

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