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'pseudo-dimeric' peptide:MHC complexes

Hypothetical complexes containing one antigen peptide:MHC molecule and one self-peptide:MHC molecule on the surface of the antigen-presenting cell, which have been proposed to initiate T-cell activation.

12/23 rule

The rule that gene segments of immunoglobulin or T-cell receptors can be joined only if one has a recognition signal sequence with a 12-base-pair spacer, and the other has a 23-base-pair spacer.

3′ → 5′ exonuclease

An enzyme that sequentially removes nucleotides in the 3′¬†→ 5′ direction from the end of a nucleic acid molecule.

4-1BB, 4-1BB ligand

A co-stimulatory receptor–ligand pair. 4-1BB is present on T cells, and 4-1BB ligand on dendritic cells.

5′ → 3′ exonuclease

An enzyme that sequentially removes nucleotides in the 5′¬†→ 3′ direction from the end of a nucleic acid molecule.

ABO blood group system

A set of antigens expressed on red blood cells that are used for typing human blood for transfusion. Matching is necessary because individuals who do not express A or B antigens on their red blood cells naturally form anti-A and anti-B antibodies that interact with and destroy red blood cells bearing A or B antigens if they are transfused into the bloodstream.


The removal of antibodies specific for one antigen from an antiserum to render it specific for another antigen or antigens.

accelerated rejection

The more rapid rejection of a second graft after rejection of the first graft. It was one of the pieces of evidence that showed that graft rejection was due to an adaptive immune response.

accessory effector cells

Cells that aid in an adaptive immune response but are not involved in specific antigen recognition. They include phagocytes, mast cells, and NK cells.

acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

A disease caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1). AIDS occurs when an infected patient has lost most of his or her CD4 T cells, so that infections with opportunistic pathogens occur.

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