Enumeration of human antigen-specific naive CD8+ T cells reveals conserved precursor frequencies

Cécile Alanio, Fabrice Lemaitre, Ka Wai Helen Law, Milena Hasan, Matthew L. Albert

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


The number of antigen-specific naive CD8+ T cells is believed to be important in the shaping of adaptive immune responses, and is predictive for the magnitude of priming responses in mouse models. Because of extremely low precursor frequencies, knowledge about these cells comes from indirect techniques and estimations. Here, we present a strategy based on the combination of tetramer staining, magnetic-bead enrichment, and multiparametric cytometry, which permitted direct detection and analysis of CD8+ T cells reactive for 6 different naive epitopes (MART-126-35, HIV-1 Gag p1777-85, hepatitis C virus [HCV] NS31406-1415, HCV Core132-140, NY-ESO-1157-165, and cytomegalovirus [CMV] pp65495-503). Interestingly, we detected higher than 100-fold differences in precursor frequency across these epitopes (from 0.6 × 10-6 to 1.3 × 10-4), but conserved frequencies among humans. Development of a procedure for direct assessment of T-cell pre-cursor frequency in humans has important implications, with particular relevance to vaccine development and monitoring of tumor and self-reactive T cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3718-3725
Number of pages8
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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