The use of class-I HLA tetramers for the detection of hepatitis C virus NS3-specific CD8+ T cells in patients with chronic infection

F. Xavier López-Labrador, Xiaosong He, Marina Berenguer, Ramsey C. Cheung, Teresa L. Wright, Harry B. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background/aims: New methods to detect virus-specific T-cell responses have recently been developed. Several human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-peptide tetramers for the detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-specific CD8+ T cells are under evaluation. Methods: Evaluation of one HLA class I-tetramer (HCVNS3-2) for the detection of HCV NS3-specific CD8+ T cells in a series of 38 HLA-A2+ chronically infected patients. Results: Almost half (42%) of the patients had detectable NS3-specific CD8+ T cells. The frequencies of such cells ranged from 0.01% to 0.22% of total CD8+ T cells. No significant differences in clinical features or mean viral load were detected between patients with or without tetramer+CD8+ T cells. Conclusions: The tetramer HCVNS3-2 may be very useful for the study of the HCV-specific CD8+ immune response. Combination of this reagent with other tetramers based on other HCV peptides may help in the understanding of the immune response to the virus. However, a panel of tetramers based on several parts of the HCV polyprotein may be a mandatory requirement to explore the whole breadth of the CD8+ T-cell response against HCV and to detect that response in the majority of patients with chronic infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes



  • Alanine aminotransferase
  • ALT
  • Cytotoxic T cells
  • Epitope
  • HBsAg
  • HCV
  • HCV non-structural protein 3
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • HIV
  • HLA
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Human leukocyte antigen
  • Immunotherapy
  • NS3
  • T-cell receptor
  • Viral immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Immunology

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