Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10744643
Int. Immunol. 2000 Apr;12(4):425-30
While numerous studies have analyzed the shaping of T cell repertoires by self or foreign peptides, little is known on the influence of commensal self peptides derived from the intestinal flora (IF). Here, we have analyzed naive and immune repertoires in mice devoid of IF [germ-free (GF) mice]. First, by means of an extensive CDR3beta sequencing strategy, we show that the naive peripheral CD8 T cell repertoire does not exhibit a major imprint of IF antigens. Second, using MHC-peptide tetramers, CDR3beta length distribution analyses and TCR sequencing, we show that cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses specific for two distinct epitopes are quasi-identical in normal and GF mice. Our findings indicate that, in general, peptides derived from the intestinal microflora have little if any influence on CTL responses in the mouse.