To study whether individual HLA class I alleles are used preferentially or equally in human virus-specific CTL responses, the contribution of individual HLA-A and -B alleles to the human influenza virus-specific CTL response was investigated. To this end, PBMC were obtained from three groups of HLA-A and -B identical blood donors and stimulated with influenza virus. In the virus-specific CD8(+) T cell population, the proportion of IFN-gamma- and TNF-alpha-producing cells, restricted by individual HLA-A and -B alleles, was determined using virus-infected C1R cells expressing a single HLA-A or -B allele for restimulation of these cells. In HLA-B*2705- and HLA-B*3501-positive individuals, these alleles were preferentially used in the influenza A virus-specific CTL response, while the contribution of HLA-B*0801 and HLA-A*0101 was minor in these donors. The magnitude of the HLA-B*0801-restricted response was even lower in the presence of HLA-B*2705. C1R cells expressing HLA-B*2705, HLA-A*0101, or HLA-A*0201 were preferentially lysed by virus-specific CD8(+) T cells. In contrast, the CTL response to influenza B virus was mainly directed toward HLA-B*0801-restricted epitopes. Thus, the preferential use of HLA alleles depended on the virus studied.

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Journal of Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Boon, A., de Mutsert, G., Fouchier, R., Sintnicolaas, K., Rimmelzwaan, G., & Osterhaus, A. (2004). Preferential HLA usage in the influenza virus-specific CTL response. Journal of Immunology. Retrieved from