One of the most intriguing problems in immunology during the years since the discovery of T cells as an entity has been the nature and specificity of their receptors. The study of the antigen-binding receptors in T cells has been plagued by a number of technical difficulties that are just now being solved. Many puzzling properties of T cell responses to antigen, including the failure of T cells to make hapten-specific responses in most cases, still remain to be elucidated. In this chapter, we will first consider a number of these puzzling features of T cell specificity. We will then consider some recent advances in understanding T cells and their receptors which may help to explain these results. Finally, we shall try to explain findings about T cell functional specificity in the light of this recent information.
Janeway CA, Jason JM
Crit. Rev. Immunol. 1980 May;1(2):133-64