Evaluation of cytomegalovirus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes in patients with the HLA-A*02 or HLA-A*24 phenotype undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.Bone Marrow Transplant. 2005 Nov; 36(9):803-11.BM
Cytomegalovirus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CMV-CTL) are essential for the control of CMV reactivation. To monitor the quantity and function of CMV-CTL after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), two CMV epitopes that bind to HLA-A*0201 NLVPMVATV (A*02NLV) and HLA-A*2402 QYDPVAALF (A*24QYD) were evaluated for their immunological potential. Samples from patients with the HLA-A*02 or HLA-A*24 serotype were analyzed by tetramer, intracellular cytokine staining and enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay. There were significantly more A*02NLV-specific CMV-CTL than A*24QYD (23 x 10(6) vs 0.4 x 10(6)/l). The frequency of IFN-gamma-producing cells was also higher upon stimulation with A*02NLV than with A*24QYD (2.5 vs 0.1%/CD8). Furthermore, the magnitude of CMV-CTL expansion was two- to 50-fold when cells were cultured with A*02NLV, while only an insignificant increase was observed in culture with A*24QYD. Although the number of A*24QYD-specific CMV-CTL was very low in most of the HLA-A*24 patients, the incidence of CMV reactivation did not differ between those with HLA-A*02 and HLA-A*24 serotype alone. These results suggest that an epitope other than A*24QYD plays a major role in patients with HLA-A*24. Our study also showed that A*02NLV may be a useful epitope for monitoring CMV-CTL not only in patients with HLA-A*0201 but also in those with the A*0206 genotype.