The Immunological Synapse as a Novel Therapeutic Target
Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs
The onset of adaptive immune responses includes the presentation of foreign antigenic peptides to T-cells, and the formation of a T-cell-antigen-presenting cell interface termed the immunological synapse (IS). Although the generation of a mature IS is thought to be the hallmark of T-cell activation, new evidence suggests that microclusters ofat signaling molecules at the periphery of the IS are responsible for initiating and maintaining T-cell activation while the core of the IS provides a platform for signal downregulation. In this context, costimulatory molecules and self-peptides contribute to sustain the signaling required for T-lymphocyte differentiation into effector cells. This review discusses these aspects in the identification of novel candidates for therapeutic modulation of immune responses.