Abstract: Immune monitoring of T cell responses increasingly relies on the use of peptide pools. Peptides, when restricted by the same HLA allele, and presented from within the same peptide pool, can compete for HLA binding sites. What impact such competition has on functional T cell stimulation, however, is not clear. Using a model peptide pool that is comprised of 32 well-defined viral epitopes from Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and Influenza viruses (CEF peptide pool), we assessed peptide competition in PBMC from 42 human subjects. The magnitude of the peptide pool-elicited CD8 T cell responses was a mean 79% and a median 77% of the sum of the CD8 T cell responses elicited by the individual peptides. Therefore, while the effect of peptide competition was evident, it was of a relatively minor magnitude. By studying the dose-response curves for individual CEF peptides, we show that several of these peptides are present in the CEF-pool at concentrations that are orders of magnitude in excess of what is needed for the activation threshold of the CD8 T cells. The presence of such T cells with very high functional avidity for the viral antigens can explain why the effect of peptide competition is relatively minor within the CEF-pool.
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Zhang, W.; Moldovan, I.; Targoni, O.S.; Subbramanian, R.A.; Lehmann, P.V. How much of Virus-Specific CD8 T Cell Reactivity is Detected with a Peptide Pool when Compared to Individual Peptides? Viruses 2012, 4, 2636-2649.
Zhang W, Moldovan I, Targoni OS, Subbramanian RA, Lehmann PV. How much of Virus-Specific CD8 T Cell Reactivity is Detected with a Peptide Pool when Compared to Individual Peptides? Viruses. 2012; 4(11):2636-2649.
Zhang, Wenji; Moldovan, Ioana; Targoni, Oleg S.; Subbramanian, Ramu A.; Lehmann, Paul V. 2012. "How much of Virus-Specific CD8 T Cell Reactivity is Detected with a Peptide Pool when Compared to Individual Peptides?" Viruses 4, no. 11: 2636-2649.