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Title: Immunological assays relevant to definition of bovine theileria parva-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses
Authors: Musembi, Susan Mbithe
Advisors: Taracha, E
Nene, V
Li, SL
Keywords: MHC Class I tetramer;Perforin;Granzymes;Vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity;Immunofluorescent staining and flow cytometry
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Brunel University School of Health Sciences and Social Care PhD Theses
Abstract: A major objective in Theileria parva subunit vaccine development is to induce a vaccine antigen specific response mediated by cytotoxic CD8+ T cells (CTL). Therefore it is essential to be able to measure the frequency of the responding CD8+ T cells after vaccination and correlate it with a clinical outcome on challenge. Recently concluded immunogenicity and efficacy studies of T. parva specific CTL antigens showed successful induction of CTL responses in some animals, which correlated with reduced disease severity after challenge. To provide correlates of immunity antigen-specific CD8+ T cell mediated IFN-γ responses and CTL lytic responses were measured over the course of the experiments. Several challenges presented in these trials aimed at optimising vaccine efficacy. While the IFN-γ ELISPOT is a sensitive and reliable assay widely used in vaccine research, the use of chromium/indium release assay remains to be the only assay in use that measures T. parva-specific CTL activity. Hence the overall goal of the study was to develop novel reagents and novel assays to identify parasite-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes with lytic potential. To address this objective, bovine perforin, granzymes A and B, as specific effector proteins expressed in activated CTL were cloned and expressed using a baculovirus expression system. Sequence analysis of the cloned cDNAs showed the isolated cDNA belonged to the perforin and granzyme sub-families respectively. Perforin cDNA demonstrated 85% homology to human perforin with presence of conserved regions resembling calcium binding motif, membrane attack complex component as well complement protein. The sequences encoded by the cloned granzyme A and B cDNAs have the features of a trypsin like serine protease and demonstrates over 70% homology to the human cDNA over the active enzyme region as well catalytic residues characteristic of serine proteases. The expressed polypeptides of all three proteins were used to produce specific antibodies for use as reagents in immunoassays including ELISpot and intracellular staining for flow cytometric analysis. While the antibodies showed reactivity to the recombinant proteins, these reagents displayed different functionality in the recognition of the native protein. Peptide-major histocompatibility complexes (MHC) class I tetrameric complexes (tetramers) are proving invaluable as fluorescent reagents for enumeration, characterisation and isolation of peptide-specific CD8+ T cells and have afforded advantages to phenotype antigen-specific T cells with minimal in vitro manipulation. Fluorescent bovine tetramers were shown to specifically stain antigen-specific CTL by directly binding the T cell receptor (TCR). Analyses of CD8 T-cell responses in live-vaccine immunised cattle also showed that this method is robust and demonstrates changes in the kinetics and specificity of the CD8+ T cell response in primary and secondary infections with T. parva. On average, results of functional assays and tetramer staining followed parallel trends, measured roughly the same populations and allowed for surface and intracellular staining for CD8 T cell marker and perforin, respectively, demonstrating a method that reliably quantifies the frequency, phenotype and function of specific CD8+ T cells. The technical simplicity, rapidity and ability of the flow cytometric technique described in this thesis to measure low frequency antigen-specific responses suggests that tetramer staining, combined with functional assays could be broadly applicable to the valuation of vaccination efficacy to determine which protocols are most successful in inducing CTL responses.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Biological Sciences
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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