Altered peptide ligands narrow the repertoire of cellular immune responses by interfering with T-cell priming.
Plebanski M., Lee EA., Hannan CM., Flanagan KL., Gilbert SC., Gravenor MB., Hill AV.
Variation in epitopes of infectious pathogens inhibits various effector functions of T lymphocytes through antagonism of the T-cell receptor. However, a more powerful strategy for immune evasion would be to prevent the induction of T-cell responses. We report here mutual 'interference' with the priming of human T-cell responses by a pair of naturally occurring variants of a malaria cytotoxic T-cell epitope. Interference with priming also occurs in vivo for a murine malaria T-cell epitope. Reshaping of the T-cell repertoire by such immune interference during naive T-cell induction may provide a general mechanism for observed patterns of immunodominance and persistence by many polymorphic pathogens.