Immunodominance in the graft-vs-host disease T cell response to minor histocompatibility antigens

Robert Korngold, Peter J. Wettstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Immunodominance controls the generation of CTL in the C57BL/6By (B6) anti-BALB.B H-2b-matched strain combination. Despite the potential of responding to numerous individual minor histocompatibility (H) Ag on BALB.B APC, the focus of the CTL response is largely specific for only a limited number of target Ag. These minor H Ag could be distinguished by their differential expression on a panel of target cells from the CXB recombinant inbred strains, the E, G, I, J, and K (all H-2b), which express different composites of the original BALB minor H Ag. A hierarchy was observed in which first-order immunodominant Ag were present on both CXBK and CXBG cells, whereas second-order dominant Ag were found on CXBE, CXBJ, and CXBI cells. To test whether immunodominance also plays a role in the development of lethal graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) directed to multiple minor H Ag, B6 T cells were transplanted along with T cell depleted bone marrow, to irradiated (825 rad) recipients of either the BALB.B or CXB recombinant inbred strains. The results indicate that a hierarchy of immunodominance does exist in GVHD, but it differs from that predicted from the in vitro CTL studies. GVHD was observed in BALB.B, CXBE, CXBI, and CXBJ recipients, but not in CXBG and CXBK recipients. Presensitization of B6 donor mice to CXBG or CXBK splenocytes 3 wk before transplant did not significantly increase the overall GVHD potential in the corresponding CXBG or CXBK recipients. Evidence for second-order immunodominance was provided by the transfer of CXBE T cells and ATBM to irradiated CXBG and BALB.B recipients with resultant, potent GVHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4079-4088
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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