Naive T cell repertoire skewing in HLA-A2 individuals by a specialized rearrangement mechanism results in public memory clonotypes. Academic Article uri icon


  • How the naive T cell repertoire arises and forms the memory repertoire is still poorly understood. This relationship was analyzed by taking advantage of the focused TCR usage in HLA-A2-restricted CD8 memory T cell responses to influenza M1(58-66). We analyzed rearranged BV19 genes from CD8 single-positive thymocytes, a surrogate for the naive repertoire, from 10 HLA-A2 individuals. CDR3 amino acid sequences associated with response to influenza were observed at higher frequencies than expected by chance, an indicator of preselection. We propose that a rearrangement mechanism involving long P-nucleotide addition from the J2.7 region explains part of this increase. Special rearrangement mechanisms can result in identical T cells in different individuals, referred to as public responses. Indeed, the rearrangements utilizing long P nucleotide additions were commonly observed in the response to the M1(58-66) epitope in 30 HLA-A2 middle-aged adults. Thus, in addition to negative and positive selection, special rearrangement mechanisms may influence the composition of the naive repertoire, resulting in more robust responses to a pathogen in some individuals.

publication date

  • March 2011