Selection of T cell-directed immunization strategies is based extensively on discordant information derived from preclinical models. We characterized the kinetics of T cell selection in response to repeated antigenic challenge. By enumerating with epitope/HLA tetrameric complexes (tHLA) vaccine-elicited T cell precursor frequencies (Tc-pf) in melanoma patients exposed to the modified gp100 epitope gp100:209-217 (g209-2M) we observed in most patients that the Tc-pf increased with number of immunizations. One patient's kinetics were further characterized. Dissociation kinetics of g209-2M/tHLA suggested enrichment of T cell effector populations expressing TCR with progressively higher affinity. Furthermore, vaccine-elicited T cells maintained the ability to express IFN-γ ex vivo and proliferate in vitro. Thus, repeated exposure to immunogenic peptides benefited immune competence. These results provide a rationale for immunization strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy