La detección antígeno-específica de linfocitos T y sus aplicaciones clínicas
Kalergis P,Alexis M
The important role that T lymphocytes play during the immune response against pathogens and tumor cells has encouraged the development of technologies aimed to detect these immune cells in an antigen-specific fashion. Recently, a methodology consisting of the production of soluble ligands that bind the T lymphocyte receptor was developed. Such ligands consist of molecules from the Major Histocompatibility Complex loaded with either pathogen or tumor derived peptides. These molecular complexes are tetramerized to enhance the binding efficiency to the T cell receptor (TCR), which improves the detection sensitivity of antigen specific T lymphocytes. This new technology is currently used successfully during the follow up patients that were vaccinated against certain tumor antigens, to evaluate the expansion of tumor specific T lymphocytes. This methodology is also promising for the detection and specific deletion of autoreactive T lymphocytes as a treatment for autoimmune disorders. In this article we review the molecular components involved in antigen recognition by T lymphocytes, and the potential benefits for Biomedicine that could result from the detection of these cells by soluble specific ligands (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 371-80).