Recognition by class II alloreactive T cells of processed determinants from human serum proteins

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Science  14 Jun 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5012, pp. 1548-1550
DOI: 10.1126/science.1710827


Alloreactive T cells recognize a complex composed of an allogeneic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule and a peptide derived from the processing of nonpolymorphic proteins. A sizable fraction of MHC class II alloreactive T cells is shown to recognize peptides derived from constitutive processing of human serum proteins. One such epitope is a fragment of human serum albumin. This epitope bound selectively to the human class II molecule DRw11 and was constitutively present on antigen-presenting cells in vivo. These data indicate that, in the case of MHC class II, peptides involved in allorecognition may originate from exogenous proteins.