25 These Selleckchem MK 1775 experiments suggest that adjuvants alter the Ag-specific CD4
T-cell repertoire by modifying the TCR affinity threshold that limits CD4 T-cell clonal selection.5 One question raised by our studies is whether MPL-based emulsions inherently focus Ag-specific CD4 T-cell repertoires toward high-affinity clonotypes or whether additional factors contribute to the skewing of the PCC-specific CD4 T-cell responses. The immunodominant peptide of PCC (PCC88–104) is an unusual I-Ek binder that lacks one critical MHC anchor residue29 and forms weakly stable complexes with I-Ekin vitro.30 To investigate the importance of pMHCII stability in the TCR repertoire selection by the MPL-based emulsion, we recently characterized the Ag-specific CD4 T-cell responses elicited by four altered cytochrome XL765 supplier c peptides with different binding stability for I-Ek.31 Upon immunization with MPL, peptides forming low stability complexes with I-Ek, such as PCC88–104, focused CD4 T-cell responses towards high-affinity clonotypes expressing the public 5C.C7β chain,
while higher stability peptides broadened the TCR repertoire to lower affinity clonotypes expressing different rearrangements in their CDR3β (Fig. 1b).31 Hence, both the adjuvant and the half-life of pMHCII complexes determine the clonotypic diversity of the responding CD4 T-cell compartment. How vaccine adjuvants alter the specificity and pentoxifylline clonotypic diversity of the CD4 T-cell response remains an open and important question. Because of the diversity of adjuvants used and the complexity of the cellular events involved in pMHCII presentation, several different mechanisms may be involved in the adjuvant control
of the CD4 T-cell immune repertoire (Fig. 2). In the following sections, we will discuss selected mechanisms by which adjuvants could alter Ag processing and presentation and thereby change the immune repertoire of CD4 T-cell responses. Although most adjuvants contain TLR agonists, TLR agonists and vaccine proteins are usually not physically coupled. Medzhitov and colleagues have shown that Ag and TLR agonists need to be present in the same phagosome cargo to induce optimal pMHCII presentation and stimulation of CD4 T cells.32 This TLR control of pMHCII presentation not only determines the density of pMHCII complexes on the surface of APCs but also biases the specificity of the CD4 T-cell repertoire towards peptides associated with TLR agonists.33 The choice of adjuvant vehicles is likely to have an important impact on the co-delivery of Ag and TLR agonists to the same phagosome and should therefore regulate the efficiency of pMHCII presentation (Fig. 2a). While the impact of pMHCII density on the CD4 T-cell repertoire is poorly understood, our latest studies, using variable doses of peptide Ag, suggest that low levels of pMHCII focus CD4 T-cell responses towards high-affinity clonotypes.