It is generally accepted that enumeration and characterization of antigen-specific T cells provide essential information about potency of the immune response. Here, we report a new technique to determine the frequency and potency of antigen-specific CD8 T cells. The assay measures changes of intracellular Ca(2+) in real time by fluorescent microscopy in individual CD8 T cells responding to cognate peptides. The T cells form continuous monolayer, enabling the cells to present the peptides to each other. This approach allows us to evaluate the kinetics of intracellular Ca(2+) signalling that characterizes the quality of T cell response. We demonstrate the usefulness of the assay examining the frequency and quality of cytomegalovirus-specific CD8 T cells from healthy donor and patient after haploidentical stem cell transplantation. The new assay has a potential to provide essential information determining the status of the immune system, disease morbidity, potency of therapeutic intervention and vaccine efficacy.
Anikeeva, Nadia; Grosso, Dolores; ; and Sykulev, Yuri, "Evaluating frequency and quality of pathogen-specific T cells." (2016). Department of Microbiology and Immunology Faculty Papers. Paper 86.
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