Cytotoxic T cell recognition of the influenza nucleoprotein and hemagglutinin expressed in transfected mouse L cells.
Townsend AR., McMichael AJ., Carter NP., Huddleston JA., Brownlee GG.
L cells expressing either the A/NT/60/68 nucleoprotein or the A/PR/8/34 (H1) hemagglutinin by DNA mediated gene transfer were used to investigate recognition by influenza A specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). A subpopulation of CTL that recognized the H1 hemagglutinin was detected in mice primed with either A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) or A/JAP/305/57 (H2N2) influenza viruses. However, neither CTL from mice primed with A/NT/60/68 (H3N2) nor the recombinant virus X31 (H3N2) showed any activity on L cells expressing H1. These results showed that the majority of fully crossreactive CTL do not recognize the hemagglutinin molecule. A comparison between nucleoprotein and hemagglutinin transfected L cells reveals the nucleoprotein as the major target for CTL that are crossreactive on the three pandemic strains of human influenza A virus.