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Free Content Regulation of CD4 T-cell receptor diversity by vaccine adjuvants

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New vaccines based on soluble recombinant antigens (Ags) require adjuvants to elicit long-lasting protective humoral and cellular immunity. Despite the importance of CD4 T helper cells for the generation of long-lived memory B and CD8 T cells, the impact of adjuvants on CD4 T-cell responses is still poorly understood. Adjuvants are known to promote dendritic cell (DC) maturation and migration to secondary lymphoid organs where they present foreign peptides bound to class II major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHCII) to naïve CD4 T cells. Random and imprecise rearrangements of genetic elements during thymic development ensure that a vast amount of T-cell receptors (TCRs) are present in the naïve CD4 T-cell repertoire. Ag-specific CD4 T cells are selected from this vast pre-immune repertoire based on the affinity of their TCR for pMHCII. Here, we review the evidence demonstrating a link between the adjuvant and the specificity and clonotypic diversity of the CD4 T-cell response, and consider the potential mechanisms at play.
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Keywords: CD4 T helper cells; MHC class II; adjuvant; epitope; repertoire selection

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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