Complex T cell memory repertoires participate in recall responses at extremes of antigenic load

Student Author(s)

Shalyn C. Clute; Levi B. Watkin

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The CD8 T cell memory response to the HLA-A2-restricted influenza epitope M1(58-66) can be an instructive model of immune memory to a nonevolving epitope of a frequently encountered pathogen that undergoes clearance. This memory repertoire can be complex, composed of a large number of clonotypes represented at low copy numbers, while maintaining a focus on the use of VB17 T cell receptors with identified Ag recognition motifs. Such a repertoire structure might provide a panoply of clonotypes whose differential avidity for the epitope would allow responses under varying antigenic loads. This possibility was tested experimentally by characterizing the responding repertoire in vitro while varying influenza Ag concentration over five orders of magnitude. At higher and lower Ag concentrations there was increased cell death, yet a focused but diverse response could still be observed. Thus, one of the characteristics of complex memory repertoires is to provide effector function at extremes of Ag load, a characteristic that is not generally considered in vaccination development but may be important in measuring its efficacy.

DOI of Published Version



J Immunol. 2006 Aug 1;177(3):2006-14.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID