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Immunity. 2002 Nov;17(5):593-603.

Immunodominance of H60 is caused by an abnormally high precursor T cell pool directed against its unique minor histocompatibility antigen peptide.

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The Jackson Laboratory, 600 Main Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.


The H60 minor histocompatibility (H) antigen peptide is derived from a glycoprotein that serves as a ligand for the stimulatory NKG2D receptor. We show that this peptide is remarkably immunodominant in that it competes effectively with MHC alloantigens, is efficiently crosspresented by host antigen-presenting cells (APCs), and readily elicits naive CD8 T cell responses in vitro. H60 immunodominance is neither a consequence of NKG2D engagement nor competition among minor H antigens on APCs. Instead, H60 immunodominance is a consequence of an abnormally high naive precursor frequency of H60 peptide reactive CD8 T cells. Understanding why the H60 peptide is so immunogenic has important implications in tissue transplantation and vaccine design.

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