B and T lymphocytes that carry antigen receptors are able to change specificity through subsequent receptor gene rearrangements. Receptor editing and receptor revision are terms used to distinguish those rearrangements occurring, respectively, in central lymphoid organs and the periphery. Secondary rearrangement appears to be a major player at two levels in the life of B lymphocytes. First, editing preserves a diverse repertoire without compromising self-tolerance, and revision further increases this repertoire once B cells have been engaged in an immune response, most likely for a better interaction with microbes. Recent studies have likewise suggested a role for receptor editing and revision in shaping the T cell repertoire during development and tolerance.