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Blood. 2010 Jun 10;115(23):4923-33. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-12-260539. Epub 2010 Mar 4.

Leukemia-associated minor histocompatibility antigen discovery using T-cell clones isolated by in vitro stimulation of naive CD8+ T cells.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


T-cell immunotherapy that targets minor histocompatibility (H) antigens presented selectively by recipient hematopoietic cells, including leukemia, could prevent and treat leukemic relapse after hematopoietic cell transplantation without causing graft-versus-host disease. To provide immunotherapy that can be applied to a majority of transplantation recipients, it is necessary to identify leukemia-associated minor H antigens that result from gene polymorphisms that are balanced in the population and presented by common human leukocyte antigen alleles. Current approaches for deriving minor H antigen-specific T cells, which provide essential reagents for the molecular identification and characterization of the polymorphic genes that encode the antigens, rely on in vivo priming and are often unsuccessful. We show that minor H antigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte precursors are found predominantly in the naive CD8(+) T-cell subset and provide an efficient strategy for in vitro priming of native T cells to generate T cells to a broad diversity of minor H antigens presented with common human leukocyte antigen alleles. We used this approach to derive a panel of stable cytotoxic T lymphocyte clones for discovery of genes that encode minor H antigens and identify a novel antigen expressed on acute myeloid leukemia stem cells and minimally in graft-versus-host disease target tissues.

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