TH1 and TH2 cell antigen receptors in experimental leishmaniasis

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Science  05 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5100, pp. 1457-1460
DOI: 10.1126/science.8451641


The complexity and chronicity of parasitic infections have obscured the identification of biologically relevant antigens. Analysis of the T cell receptor repertoire used by mice infected with Leishmania major revealed the expansion of a restricted population of CD4+ cells. These cells expressed the V alpha 8-J alpha TA72, V beta 4 heterodimer in both progressive infection and protective immunity and across several major histocompatibility haplotypes. Thus, the same immunodominant parasite epitope drives the disparate outcomes of this infectious process, suggesting that candidate vaccine antigens selected by screening of immune individuals may be capable of exacerbating disease in genetically susceptible individuals.