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Use of soluble MHC class II/peptide multimers to detect antigen-specific T cells in human disease

Jerome R Bill* and Brian L Kotzin

Author Affiliations

Departments of Medicine and Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, USA

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Arthritis Res 2002, 4:261-265  doi:10.1186/ar417

Published: 28 February 2002


Most techniques that identify antigen-specific T cells are dependent on the response of these cells to the relevant antigen in culture. Soluble multimers of MHC molecules, when occupied with the same peptide, will bind selectively to T cells specific for that MHC/peptide complex. Techniques to produce fluorescent MHC class II/peptide multimers have recently been developed. These reagents provide a method to facilitate detection and isolation of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells and they represent a new research tool to study these cells in patients with immune-mediated diseases.

flow cytometry; MHC class II; MHC/peptide multimer; T cell; T-cell receptor