Low-avidity recognition by CD4+ T cells directed to self-antigens.
ABSTRACT Self-reactive T cells populate the peripheral immune system, and likely form the reservoir from which autoreactive cells are derived. We analyzed a panel of self and non-self peptides presented by HLA-DR4, a class II molecule associated with autoimmunity, by immunization of mice transgenic for HLA-DR4. Significant structural avidity for T cell recognition, as measured by MHC class II tetramer binding to CD4(+) T cells was only observed in mice immunized with the non-self antigens. T cell hybridomas were generated from mice immunized with the naturally processed self-peptide hGAD65 (552-572) and also from mice immunized with an influenza-derived non-self epitope (HA 306-318). T cells specific for the self peptide failed to bind tetramers and exhibited low functional avidity as measured by the peptide concentration required to reach half-maximum proliferation values. In contrast, T cells specific for the non-self HA (306-318) peptide exhibited high structural and functional avidity profiles. As recently described in studies of murine CD8(+) T cell function, the predominance of low avidity recognition of self-peptide epitopes may be a characteristic feature of CD4(+) T cells responding to autoantigens.
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ABSTRACT: Lipocalin allergens form a notable group of proteins, as they contain most of the significant respiratory allergens from mammals. The basis for the allergenic capacity of allergens in the lipocalin family, that is, the development of T-helper type 2 immunity against them, is still unresolved. As immunogenicity has been proposed to be a decisive feature of allergens, the purpose of this work was to examine human CD4+ T cell responses to the major dog allergen Can f 1 and to compare them with those to its human homologue, tear lipocalin (TL). For this, specific T cell lines were induced in vitro from the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of Can f 1-allergic and healthy dog dust-exposed subjects with peptides containing the immunodominant T cell epitopes of Can f 1 and the corresponding TL peptides. We found that the frequency of Can f 1 and TL-specific T cells in both subject groups was low and close to each other, the difference being about two-fold. Importantly, we found that the proliferative responses of both Can f 1 and TL-specific T cell lines from allergic subjects were stronger than those from healthy subjects, but that the strength of the responses within the subject groups did not differ between these two antigens. Moreover, the phenotype of the Can f 1 and TL-specific T cell lines, determined by cytokine production and expression of cell surface markers, resembled each other. The HLA system appeared to have a minimal role in explaining the allergenicity of Can f 1, as the allergic and healthy subjects' HLA background did not differ, and HLA binding was very similar between Can f 1 and TL peptides. Along with existing data on lipocalin allergens, we conclude that strong antigenicity is not decisive for the allergenicity of Can f 1.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e98461. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: T cells constitute the core of adaptive cellular immunity and protect higher organisms against pathogen infections and cancer. Monitoring of disease progression as well as prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines and immunotherapies call for conclusive detection, analysis, and sorting of antigen-specific T cells. This is possible by means of soluble recombinant ligands for T cells, i.e., MHC class I-peptide (pMHC I) complexes for CD8(+) T cells and MHC class II-peptide (pMHC II) complexes for CD4(+) T cells and flow cytometry. Here we review major developments in the development of pMHC staining reagents and their diverse applications and discuss perspectives of their use for basic and clinical investigations.Frontiers in Immunology 01/2013; 4:218.
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ABSTRACT: The trimolecular complex composed of autoreactive T-cell receptor, MHC class II, and an autoantigenic peptide plays a central role in the activation of pathogenic Islet-specific CD4+ T cells in type 1 diabetes (T1D). We isolated and characterized novel antibodies against autoreactive T-cell epitopes associated with T1D. Our antibodies mimic the specificity of the T-cell receptor (TCR), while binding MHC class II/peptide complexes in an autoantigen peptide specific, MHC-restricted manner. The isolated TCR-like antibodies were directed against the minimal T-cell epitope GAD-555-567 in the context of the HLA-DR4-diabetic-associated molecule. A representative high-affinity TCR-like antibody clone (G3H8) enabled the detection of intra- and extra-cellular DR4/GAD-555-567 complexes in antigen presenting cells. I561M single mutation at the central position (P5) of the GAD-555-567 peptide abolished the binding of G3H8 to the DR4/GAD complex, demonstrating its high fine TCR-like specificity. The G3H8 TCR-like antibody significantly inhibited GAD-555-567 specific, DR4 restricted T-cell response in vitro and in vivo in HLA-DR4 transgenic mice. Our findings constitute a proof-of-concept for the utility of TCR-like antibodies as antigen-specific immunomodulation agents for regulating pathogenic T-cells and suggest that TCR-like antibodies targeting autoreactive MHC class II epitopes are valuable research tools that enable studies related to antigen presentation as well as novel therapeutic agents that may be used to modulate autoimmune disorders such as T1D.Journal of Autoimmunity 09/2013; · 7.02 Impact Factor