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Immunodominance (ID) of T cell epitopes is a well-documented phenomenon that might have profound significance in the evolution of T cell responses to pathogens, tumors, autoantigens and vaccines. With the intention of developing vaccines composed of several cytotoxic T cell (CTL) epitopes, we injected mice with peptide mixtures containing two to five CTL epitopes and observed clear patterns of ID. In a first case, ID strictly correlated with the competitor activity of the individual peptides for H-2Kd, whereas in a second case, the absence of correlation between ID and competitor activity, binding affinity, half-life of the peptides in serum, induction of proliferation in vitro and the individual immunogenicity of the peptides, suggested to us that ID of co-injected CTL epitopes can be determined both at the peptide level (binding affinity to H-2Kd) and at the T cell level. This hypothesis is supported by our finding that interleukin-12 strongly modulates ID when it is not correlated with MHC binding.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/eji.1830261124

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur J Immunol

Publication Date

11/1996

Volume

26

Pages

2709 - 2716

Keywords

Adjuvants, Immunologic, Animals, Binding, Competitive, Drug Synergism, Female, H-2 Antigens, HIV Envelope Protein gp120, HIV-1, Immunodominant Epitopes, Injections, Intraperitoneal, Interleukin-12, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Orthomyxoviridae, Protein Binding, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Viral Core Proteins