Localization, quantitation, and in situ detection of specific peptide-MHC class I complexes using a monoclonal antibody

Immunity. 1997 Jun;6(6):715-26. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80447-1.


CD8+ T lymphocytes recognize antigens as short peptides bound to MHC class I molecules. Available methods cannot determine the number and distribution of these ligands on individual cells or detect antigen-presenting cells in tissues. Here we describe a method for eliciting and identifying monoclonal antibodies specific for a particular peptide-MHC class I combination. One such antibody can identify antigen complexes with a limit of detection approaching that of T cells. We used this antibody to determine the number of peptide-class I complexes generated upon viral infection, to identify antigen-presenting cells in cell mixtures, to determine the site of peptide-MHC class I interaction inside cells, and to visualize cells bearing specific peptide-MHC class I complexes after in vivo infection. Similar antibodies may prove useful for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes in cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology*
  • H-2 Antigens / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Protein Binding
  • Vaccinia virus
  • Virus Diseases / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Peptides
  • Ovalbumin