TCR repertoire availability has the potential to influence the immune response to foreign antigens. Here we have analysed how changes in V region availability influence the H-2b-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to a dominant peptide determinant derived from the herpes simplex virus glycoprotein B (gB). We have previously shown that C57BL/6 mice mount a gB-specific, Kb-restricted CTL response which is dominated by a TCRBV10+ population and a TCRBV8S1+ subpopulation, both containing highly conserved CDR3 elements. We find that this dominant gB-specific CTL pool is lost in C57/L mice which have a different TCRBV haplotype. A population of CTL with diverse TCRBV and junctional sequence usage, which otherwise represents a minor subset in the gB-specific response, appears to emerge as a consequence of this TCRBV gene variation. The loss of preferential V region-encoded complementarity determining regions (CDR)1- and/or CDR2-ligand interactions in this emerging population also results in a change in CDR3 sequence usage and a corresponding focusing of an otherwise promiscuous pattern of cross-reactivity with a panel of gB498-505 substitution analogues. This suggests that the difference between the two distinct TCR populations is the relative contributions of the CDR towards ligand recognition. Therefore, preferential V region-ligand interaction, at the expense of CDR3 peptide recognition, appears to control the dominant TCR selection in the C57BL/6 response to this peptide determinant.
- Complementarity determining regions
- Determinant fine specificity
- TCRBV polymorphism