Both T and B cell functions may be more limited early in ontogeny than in adulthood (Tables 1 and 2). In part, this may reflect restrictions imposed on the diversity of the antigen-specific repertoires; however, differences in responses to various modes of activation by neonatal and adult lymphocytes also contribute to differences in immune outcome. The differences seen in immune responses to antigens early in ontogeny as opposed to that in adult life is of consequence in both host immunity to microorganisms and in development of appropriate vaccine strategies.

See also: Antigens, T dependent and independent; B lymphocytes; CD5; CD40 and its ligand; Cytokines; Effector lymphocytes; Idiotype network; Ontogeny of the immune response; T lymphocytes; Tolerance, peripheral.

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