Background: CD8+ T cell responses, restricted by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, are critical to controlling human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) replication. Previous studies have used MHC-matched siblings and monozygotic twins to evaluate genetic and stochastic influences on HIV-specific T cell responses and viral evolution. Here we used a genetically restricted population of Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (MCM) to characterize T cell responses within nine pairs of MHC-matched animals.Findings: In MHC-matched animals, there was considerable heterogeneity in the specificity and magnitude of T cell responses detected via individual peptide gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays. These findings were further supported by full proteome pooled peptide matrix ELISPOT data collected from this cohort at 52 weeks post-infection. Interestingly, peptide regions that elicited dominant T cell responses were more commonly shared between MHC-matched MCM than peptide regions that elicited non-dominant T cell responses.Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, while some T cell responses mounted during chronic infection by MHC-matched MCM are similar, the majority of responses are highly variable. Shared responses detected in this study between MHC-matched MCM were directed against epitopes that had previously elicited relatively dominant responses in MCM with the same MHC class I haplotype, suggesting that the factors that influence dominance may influence the reproducibility of responses as well. This may be an important consideration for future T cell-based vaccines aiming to consistently and reproducibly elicit protective T cell responses. © 2013 Cain et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Cain, B. T., Pham, N. H., Budde, M. L., Greene, J. M., Weinfurter, J. T., Scarlotta, M., … O’Connor, D. H. (2013). T cell response specificity and magnitude against SIVmac239 are not concordant in major histocompatibility complex-matched animals. Retrovirology, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4690-10-116