Isolation of human CD4/CD8 double-positive, graft-versus-host disease-protective, minor histocompatibility antigen-specific regulatory T cells and of a novel HLA-DR7-restricted HY-specific CD4 clone.

Eljaafari A1, Yuruker O, Ferrand C, Farre A, Addey C, Tartelin ML, Thomas X, Tiberghien P, Simpson E, Rigal D, Scott D.
Source: J Immunol
Publication Date: (2013)
Issue: 190(1): 184-94
Research Area:
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Basic Research
Culture Media:
Minor histocompatibility (H) Ags are classically described as self-peptides derived from intracellular proteins that are expressed at the cell surface by MHC class I and class II molecules and that induce T cell alloresponses. We have isolated three different T cell populations from a skin biopsy of a patient suffering from acute graft-versus-host disease following sex-mismatched HLA-identical bone marrow transplantation. The first population was: 1) CD4(+)/CD8(+) double-positive; 2) specific for an HLA class I-restricted autosomal Ag; 3) expressed a Tr1 profile with high levels of IL-10, but low IL-2 and IFN-?; and 4) exerted regulatory function in the presence of recipient APCs. The second was CD8 positive, specific for an HLA class I-restricted autosomally encoded minor H Ag, but was only weakly cytotoxic. The third was CD4 single positive, specific for an HLA-DR7-restricted HY epitope and exerted both proliferative and cytotoxic functions. Identification of the peptide recognized by these latter cells revealed a new human HY epitope, TGKIINFIKFDTGNL, encoded by RPS4Y and restricted by HLA-DR7. In this paper, we show human CD4/CD8 double-positive, acute graft-versus-host disease-protective, minor H Ag-specific regulatory T cells and identify a novel HLA-DR7/ HY T cell epitope, encoded by RPS4Y, a potential new therapeutic target.