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Nat Protoc. 2012 Dec;7(12):2180-92. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2012.138. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Isolation of carbohydrate-specific CD4(+) T cell clones from mice after stimulation by two model glycoconjugate vaccines.

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Division of Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Here we describe how to isolate carbohydrate-specific T cell clones (for which we propose the designation 'Tcarbs') after stimulation by two glycoconjugate vaccines. We describe how to prepare, purify and characterize two model glycoconjugate vaccines that can be used to generate Tcarbs. These glycoconjugate vaccines (GBSIII-OVA and GBSIII-TT) are synthesized by conjugation of type III group B streptococcal polysaccharide (GBSIII) to ovalbumin (OVA) or tetanus toxoid (TT). Upon immunization of mice with GBSIII-OVA, carbohydrate epitopes are presented to and recognized by CD4(+) T cells. Subsequently, polysaccharide-recognizing CD4(+) T cells are expanded in vitro by stimulating splenic CD4(+) T cells with GBSIII-TT. The sequential use of two distinct glycoconjugate vaccines containing the same polysaccharide conjugated to heterologous carrier proteins selects for and expands carbohydrate-specific T cells. This protocol can readily be adapted to study the stimulation of the immune system by alternative glycoconjugate vaccines. This protocol takes 1-2 years to complete.

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