Clonal selection is the process by which self-antigens are destroyed. Cells of the immune system have unique receptors that only recognise one specific antigen, allowing for the removal/death of any 'self' antigens recognised by randomly produced receptors, during early development. This ensures that the immune system is left with a reduced repertoire of cells that only recognise 'foreign' antigens. At which point an immune response is stimulated, immune cells expand to produce more effector cells or remain as memory cells.
- ↑ Alberts et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell. 5th Edition. New York: Garland Science.