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Immunity. 1997 Jun;6(6):715-26.

Localization, quantitation, and in situ detection of specific peptide-MHC class I complexes using a monoclonal antibody.

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Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1892, USA.


CD8+ T lymphocytes recognize antigens as short peptides bound to MHC class I molecules. Available methods cannot determine the number and distribution of these ligands on individual cells or detect antigen-presenting cells in tissues. Here we describe a method for eliciting and identifying monoclonal antibodies specific for a particular peptide-MHC class I combination. One such antibody can identify antigen complexes with a limit of detection approaching that of T cells. We used this antibody to determine the number of peptide-class I complexes generated upon viral infection, to identify antigen-presenting cells in cell mixtures, to determine the site of peptide-MHC class I interaction inside cells, and to visualize cells bearing specific peptide-MHC class I complexes after in vivo infection. Similar antibodies may prove useful for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes in cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

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