Individual heritable differences result in unique cell lymphocyte receptor repertoires of naïve and antigen-experienced cells

Nat Commun. 2016 Mar 23;7:11112. doi: 10.1038/ncomms11112.

Abstract

The adaptive immune system's capability to protect the body requires a highly diverse lymphocyte antigen receptor repertoire. However, the influence of individual genetic and epigenetic differences on these repertoires is not typically measured. By leveraging the unique characteristics of B, CD4(+) T and CD8(+) T-lymphocyte subsets from monozygotic twins, we quantify the impact of heritable factors on both the V(D)J recombination process and on thymic selection. We show that the resulting biases in both V(D)J usage and N/P addition lengths, which are found in naïve and antigen experienced cells, contribute to significant variation in the CDR3 region. Moreover, we show that the relative usage of V and J gene segments is chromosomally biased, with ∼1.5 times as many rearrangements originating from a single chromosome. These data refine our understanding of the heritable mechanisms affecting the repertoire, and show that biases are evident on a chromosome-wide level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / genetics
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin / genetics*
  • Genes, T-Cell Receptor / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics*
  • V(D)J Recombination / genetics*