Recent advances in molecular medicine have shown that soluble MHC-multimers can be valuable tools for both analysis and modulation of antigen-specific immune responses in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we describe the use of dimeric human and mouse major histocompatibility complexes, MHC-Ig, as part of an artificial Antigen-Presenting Cell (aAPC). MHC-Ig-based aAPC and its derivatives represent an exciting new platform technology for measuring and manipulating immune responses in vitro as well as in vivo. This new technology has the potential to help overcome many of the obstacles associated with limitations in current antigen-specific approaches of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmunity.
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