Author(s): Speiser DE, Wieckowski S, Gupta B, Iancu EM, Baumgaertner P,
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Abstract Immune protection from infectious diseases and cancer is mediated by individual T cells of different clonal origin. Their functions are tightly regulated but not yet fully characterized. Understanding the contribution of each T cell will improve the prediction of immune protection based on laboratory assessment of T-cell responses. Here we developed techniques for simultaneous molecular and functional assessment of single CD8 T cells directly ex vivo. We studied two groups of patients with melanoma after vaccination with two closely related tumor antigenic peptides. Vaccination induced T cells with strong memory and effector functions, as found in virtually all T cells of the first patient group, and fractions of T cells in the second group. Interestingly, high functionality was not restricted to dominant clonotypes. Rather, dominant and nondominant clonotypes acquired equal functional competence. In parallel, this was also found for EBV- and CMV-specific T cells. Thus, the nondominant clonotypes may contribute similarly to immunity as their dominant counterparts.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine