The maturation of T lymphocytes from committed progenitors involves the sequential rearrangement and expression of TCR genes, cell proliferation, antigen-induced selection, and commitment to phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets (Fig. 8-19). In many ways, this is similar to B cell maturation. However, T cell maturation has some unique features that reflect the specificity of the majority of T lymphocytes for self MHC-associated peptide antigens and the need for a special microenvironment for selecting cells with this specificity.
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