Generation of Th1 T cell responses directed to a HLA Class II restricted epitope from the Aspergillus f16 allergen

Ramadan, Gamal ; Davies B. ; Kurup V. ; Keever-Taylor C. 


The Aspergillus allergen Asp f16 has been shown to confer protective Th1 T cell-mediated immunity against infection with Aspergillus conidia in murine models. Here, we use overlapping (11-aa overlap with preceding peptide) pentadecapeptides spanning the entire 427-aa coding region of Asp f16 presented on autologous dendritic cells (DC) to evaluate the ability of this antigen to induce Th1 responses in humans. Proliferative responses were induced in five out of five donors, and one line with a high frequency of interferon (IFN)-γ-producing CD4 + T cells in response to the complete peptide pool was characterized. This line was cytotoxic to autologous pool-pulsed and Aspergillus culture extract-pulsed targets. Limitation of cytotoxicity to the CD4 + T cell subset was demonstrated by co-expression of the degranulation marker CD107a in response to peptide pool-pulsed targets. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) killed Aspergillus hyphae and CTL culture supernatant killed Aspergillus conidia. By screening 21 smaller pools and individual peptides shared by positive pools we identified a single candidate sequence of TWSIDGAVVRT that elicited responses equal to the complete pool. The denned epitope was presented by human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1-0301. These data identify the first known Aspergillus-specific T cell epitope and support the use of Asp f16 in clinical immunotherapy protocols to prime protective immune responses to prevent or treat Aspergillus infection in immunocompromised patients.

Other data

Issue Date 1-Feb-2005
Journal Clinical and Experimental Immunology 

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