Survival of the fetus: fetal B and T cell receptor repertoire development

Survival of the fetus: fetal B and T cell receptor repertoire development A mature and diverse T and B cell receptor repertoire is a prerequisite for immunocompetence. In light of its increased susceptibility to infection, the human fetus has long been considered deficient in this regard. However, data accumulated since the 1990s and in earnest in the past couple of years paints a more complicated picture. As we describe in this review, mechanisms responsible for generating a diverse receptor repertoire, such as somatic recombination, class switch recombination, and somatic hypermutation, are all operational to surprising extents in the growing fetus. The composition of the fetal repertoire differs from that of adults, with preferential usage of certain variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) gene segments and a shorter complementarity determining (CDR3) region, primarily due to decreased terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) expression. Both T and B cell receptor repertoires are extremely diverse by the end of the second trimester, and in the case of T cells, are capable of responding to an invading pathogen with in utero clonal expansion. Thus, it would appear as though the T and B cell receptor repertoires are not a hindrance towards immunocompetence of the newborn. Our improved understanding of fetal receptor repertoire development is already bearing fruit in the early diagnosis of primary immunodeficiencies (PID) and may help clarify the pathogenesis of congenital infections, recurrent abortions, and autoimmune disorders in the near future. Seminars in Immunopathology Springer Journals

Survival of the fetus: fetal B and T cell receptor repertoire development

Loading next page...
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright © 2017 by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Biomedicine; Immunology; Internal Medicine
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial