Different types of allospecific CTL clones identified by their ability to recognize peptide loading-defective target cells.
Aosai F., Ohlen C., Ljunggren HG., Höglund P., Franksson L., Ploegh H., Townsend A., Kärre K., Stauss HJ.
Allospecific immune responses against the MHC of another individual are remarkably strong, due t a high number of responding T cell clones. Although it has been demonstrated that some allospecific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize peptides presented by allogeneic MHC class I molecules, it has remained unclear whether MHC molecules can be recognized directly. We used the H-2b-derived murine lymphoma mutant RMA-S, which has a defect affecting peptide loading of class I molecules, to test whether recognition by allospecific CTL always requires the presence of peptides. Three types of anti-H-2Kb CTL clones can be distinguished by their ability to lyse RMA-S target cells. Type A CTL clones efficiently lyse these target cells, the lysis by type B CTL clones is inefficient, and type C clones fail to lyse RMA-S. Up-regulation of the levels of H-2Kb density improved lysis by type B clones, but did not lead to lysis by type C clones. Some type A and B CTL clones apparently can recognize class I molecules devoid of peptides, while others are likely to recognize peptides which are not affected by the presentation defect of RMA-S. We suggest that type C clones are specific for peptides which are not presented by the mutant cells. The results show that the majority of alloreactive CTL recognize peptide/MHC complexes, while some CTL behave as if they can recognize class I molecules in the absence of MHC-bound peptides.