(a = alpha)\ud Arstila et al. (1) estimated an average diversity\ud of 9 * 10^5 different b chains and 4.5 *\ud 10^5 different a chains in the human nai¨ve T\ud cell repertoire. To calculate the total T cell\ud repertoire diversity, the b-chain diversity was\ud estimated within a certain variable (V) gene\ud family, Va12^+, comprising 2.5% of the total\ud a-chain repertoire. Finding in this particular\ud family an estimated total of 6 * 105 different\ud ß chains (i.e., two-thirds of the total ß-chain\ud repertoire), Arstila et al. suggested that the\ud total T cell receptor (TCR) diversity comprises\ud at least (6 * 105) * 40 = 2.4 * 10^7\ud different aß combinations (1). The authors\ud acknowledge that this is only a lower bound,\ud because the calculation assumes that the ß\ud chains that do bind at least one Va12 chain\ud bind only one of the 4.5 * 10^5 different a\ud chains in the Va12^+ family. If each ß chain\ud found within the Va12^+ family were to bind\ud an average of n different Va12 chains instead,\ud the total estimated TCR diversity would be\ud n-fold higher than this lower bound
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