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Scand J Immunol. 2009 Nov;70(5):415-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3083.2009.02317.x.

Use of immobilized HLA-A2:Ig dimeric proteins to determine the level of epitope-specific, HLA-restricted CD8(+) T-cell response.

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HIV and Malaria Vaccine Program, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10016, USA.


A novel assay to assess antigen-specific cytokine release from stimulated CD8(+) T cells derived from the mucosal and peripheral blood compartments has been developed and standardized using the influenza A virus matrix protein (MP) peptide, GILGFVFTL. This technology is based on the capacity for the human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-A2:Ig dimeric protein to stimulate CD8(+) T cells in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted fashion without the necessity for antigen presenting cells (APC). This assay has been optimized utilizing a 9-amino acid residue (9mer) peptide, the optimal peptide length for presenting an epitope to CD8(+) T cells. Compared to existing assays, this more sensitive and specific methodology requires fewer cells, enabling easier and more accurate monitoring of the CD8(+) T-cell response in biological compartments, such as the mucosa during the course of viral infection and may be utilized to assess epitope-specific CD8(+) T-cell responses in vaccine trials.

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