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Immune hierarchy among HIV-1 CD8+ T cell epitopes delivered by dendritic cells depends on MHC-I binding irrespective of mode of loading and immunization in HLA-A*0201 mice

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Kloverpris HN, Karlsson I, Thorn M, Buus S, Fomsgaard A. Immune hierarchy among HIV-1 CD8+ T-cell epitopes delivered by dendritic cells depends on MHC-I binding irrespective of mode of loading and immunization in HLA-A*0201 mice. APMIS 2009; 117: 849–55.

Recent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccination strategies aim at targeting a broad range of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes from different HIV-1 proteins by immunization with multiple CTL epitopes simultaneously. However, this may establish an immune hierarchical response, where the immune system responds to only a small number of the epitopes administered. To evaluate the feasibility of such vaccine strategies, we used the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 transgenic (tg) HHD murine in vivo model and immunized with dendritic cells pulsed with seven HIV-1-derived HLA-A*0201 binding CTL epitopes. The seven peptides were simultaneously presented on the same dendritic cell (DC) or on separate DCs before immunization to one or different lymphoid compartments. Data from this study showed that the T-cell response, as measured by cytolytic activity and γ-interferon (IFN-γ)-producing CD8+ T cells, mainly focused on two of seven administered epitopes. The magnitude of individual T-cell responses induced by immunization with multiple peptides correlated with their individual immunogenicity that depended on major histocompatibility class I binding and was not influenced by mode of loading or mode of immunization. These findings may have implications for the design of vaccines based on DCs when using multiple epitopes simultaneously.

Keywords: CTL epitopes; HLA-A*0201; dendritic cells; immunodominance

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Virology, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen S 2: Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: November 1, 2009


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