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superantigen

Pronunciation: su'per-an'ti-jen

Definition: An antigen that interacts with the T-cell receptor in a domain outside the antigen recognition site. This interaction induces the activation of larger numbers of T cells than are induced by antigens that are presented in the antigen recognition site leading to the release of numerous cytokines. A single superantigen may potentially activate as much as 15% of the lymphocytic repertoire.

See Also: antigen

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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